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Tiptoe Through the (Toxic) Tulips: Keeping Your Pet Safe This Spring

Springtime is a wonderful season where we look at the arrival of blooms and warm weather. It is high time for spring cleaning, as well as getting the lawn and garden prepped for new growth. It’s no doubt those of us who abhor the chillier, darker months are celebrating the turning of the seasonal wheel where we can get outside with our pets.

Spring, though, brings with it some safety considerations for your furry loved one. There are many factors to consider before you plant, clean the garage, or enjoy the outdoors with your pet. The team at Town and Country Animal Hospital is here to tell you how to both enjoy the spring while keeping your pet safe.

Poisonous Plants

While we enjoy all of the wonderful colors, smells, and look of our renewed lawn and garden, some of these growing things can be toxic. Each year, millions of pets are poisoned by something they got into in the yard. Toxic plants and lawn additives are aplenty, but how do you know which plants to grow and which to avoid? Thankfully, the ASPCA has an extensive database you can use to determine which plants are no-gos.

Some popular yet toxic plants to avoid include:

  • Yew
  • Oleander
  • Sago palm
  • Daffodils
  • Crocus
  • Tulips
  • Narcissus
  • English Ivy
  • Lilies
  • Azaleas

The good news is that most vegetable and herb plants are okay for pets (although, after all the hard work, you wouldn’t be happy with a half-eaten garden care of Fido).

Other things to consider that are poisons in the yard are:

  • Compost
  • Mushrooms and fungi
  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides
  • Cocoa shell mulch
  • Slug bait
  • Rose food

Opt for pet friendly, eco-friendly lawn and garden products. If you want to compost, that’s  great. Just be careful to cover the bin or fence it off so your pet can’t get into it.

Spring Cleaning 

If you are ambitious this season and want to clean up the garage or attic, that’s a good idea. Just keep your pet in mind when you are sorting through things and storing them. There are several items that are risky for pets to be around, some of which are highly poisonous, like antifreeze.

Watch out for:

  • Cleaning products
  • Old paint and paint thinner
  • Mothballs
  • Paint thinner
  • Auto additives, especially antifreeze/coolant
  • Rodenticide
  • Mouse traps

While you do a thorough clean, it’s best to give your pet something to do in another room. Realistically, when you are in the middle of spring cleaning, it would be too easy for a pet to grab something they shouldn’t. Play it safe and keep them occupied in a secure area instead.

The Great Outdoors

Spring is the time to get back outside and shake off the long winter with some walks, hikes, campouts, and more. It’s also your furry one’s favorite time, too, when they get to explore and enjoy alongside you.

Whenever you are outdoors, though, there are abundant outdoor risks to pets to consider. Wildlife is becoming more active now, with babies being born and snakes emerging.

Keep a careful eye out for animals in your midst and steer you and your pet clear of them. This includes minimizing the backyard as a haven for wild animals, including skunks and raccoons, by keeping grasses trimmed and moving trash bins to the garage.

Parasites are also going strong right now, like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. These pests bug us, too, but they carry diseases that can be transmitted to an unprotected pet. Make sure your pet is on parasite preventives. 

Last but not least, the weather will be warmer, which means giving your pet lots of water and shade when you’re outside. Keep walks to the cooler hours and remember to never leave a pet in the car unattended, as temperatures soar into the 100s, even when it is only 70 degrees outside.

Keep Your Pet Safe This Spring

We hope this overview has given you much to consider when keeping your pet protected this spring. It is our hope to not discourage you from enjoying all of these things and more with your four-legged, but only to give you greater awareness of risks that can be avoided.

If you have any questions about spring pet safety, please contact us. And don’t forget to stop and smell the roses, too.