Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, pet owners should take inventory of potential springtime hazards for their furry friends.

Spring toxins:

Plants and flowers are coming into bloom. Many common garden flowers and vegetables can be potentially toxic to dogs and cats.  Lilies, Rhododendrons, Oleander, Begonias, Chrysanthemums, and Tomato plant are just a few to watch for. For a more complete list, visit https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

Easter means that there will be plenty of candy temptations.  Chocolate goodies are toxic to cats and dogs in large quantities.  Many candies and gum also use artificial sweeteners, such as Xylitol, that may be potentially fatal to some cats and dogs.

Spring cleaning may also introduce chemical toxins and allergens.  Make sure your chemical products are out of reach of pets and are used appropriately. Read labels to prevent potential hazards.  It may be beneficial to use natural products in the home and yard.

*If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435.

The Outdoors:

Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk—especially cats, who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows.

Start flea, tick and heartworm prevention early.  Oklahoma generally has mild winters and warm summers.  Pests such as fleas, ticks, mites, flies and mosquitoes are prevalent year round.  It is best to keep your pets protected throughout the year, but if not, be sure to start your prevention as early as March to get ahead of infestations.  It may also be beneficial to treat the yard with a natural product like diatomaceous earth several times throughout the season.

Watch for stick chewing and acorn consumption when pets are in the yard or at the park. Sticks may become lodged in the mouth or throat.  Acorns can also cause gastric upset and may also cause a potential obstruction prompting an unexpected visit to your veterinarian.

Allergies!

Like us, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause itching, minor sniffling and sneezing often leading to skin/ear/eye infections.  If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Identify your Pets

Warmer weather means longer periods in the yard, more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information.

Have a safe and wonderful Spring!

Source: Carly Perry, City Veterinary Hospital, Tulsa Oklahoma.

Love, The PetsWell Team

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