Tips to keep your pets safe this spring

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Springtime has officially arrived – a time of fresh floral aromas and beautiful blooming sights. Although it’s a wonderful time for people to celebrate holidays and relax in the warmth, spring can also be dangerous for our furry friends. Along with the season of growing flowers marks a period of poisons, allergies and diseases for pets everywhere. It’s important to remain informed regarding the dangers of various plants, bugs and items associated with the spring season.

Flower Safety
Flowers may seem harmless, but some plants may cause mild to severe allergic reactions in pets that can possibly lead to death if left untreated. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the common springtime flowers that are poisonous to cats and dogs. Most lily flower plants should be avoided at all costs including but not limited to: lily of the valley, day lily, Easter lily and tiger lily plants. To be on the safe side, it’s best not to leave any lily plants out where pets can easily ingest. If ingested, lilies cause a poisonous reaction that must be followed by a swift trip to the local veterinary office. Additionally, spring flowers such as azaleas, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are also highly toxic to cats and dogs. Always check with an online resource before bringing flowers into the home. Non-toxic flowers that are considered safe for accidental pet ingestion include daisies, orchids, roses and violets.

Easter Safety
For some, spring is a time of festive cheer when celebrating the candy-filled holiday of Easter. Although it is fun to leave chocolate candies around the house for little ones to find, always make sure to keep pets in mind. Chocolate is highly toxic to cats and dogs, especially when consumed in large amounts. While a giant chocolate rabbit hidden behind the couch may be exciting for a child, it will only lead to a trip to the veterinary office for your pet. Additionally, Easter baskets can cause added risk when filled with plastic grass. As any pet owner knows, animals will eat just about anything. It is especially important to keep an eye on cats, who tend to enjoy ingesting string-like materials such as the consistency of plastic grass. When ingested, plastic grass can wrap around intestines and require immediate emergency assistance, often including invasive surgery. Have fun on Easter, but be mindful of your pets to avoid devastation. Learn more about pets and poisons at the Pet Poison Helpline.

Nature Safety
Always make sure you stay vigilant of various bugs that bite your pet. While a small mosquito bite may seem harmless, it can cause an array of problems for a cat or dog – particularly in the spread of heartworm disease. To prevent your animal from developing this fatal disease, it is paramount to always stay up-to-date with vaccines and medications for your furry friend. Dogs, in particular, can easily develop heartworms, which can live in the dog’s system for many years before finally showing severe symptoms. By updating your dog’s vaccines, heartworms don’t stand a chance in your pet’s system. Heartworm disease in cats may be slightly different, as the worms do not live as long in the animal’s body. However, the disease is still fatal and must be prevented. Talk with your local vet about ways to ensure your pet’s safety this spring.

This spring, make sure your pets stay safe by taking steps to remove dangerous items from accessible areas. Remain informed regarding which plants and food items cause harm and stay up-to-date on vaccines and vet visits.

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