As we begin to enjoy longer days, flowers blooming and all the joys of Spring, you may find yourself spending more time outside exploring with furry family members.
PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “Being in the great outdoors has many benefits to physical and mental health, for humans and four-legged friends alike, but it’s important to remember to keep our precious pets safe from any hidden dangers that the new season may bring.
Curious by nature
“Our pets are curious creatures, often keen to explore plants and trees, but some can be toxic, or even fatal, if eaten. Whatever the season, it’s important to be aware of the hidden hazards that some of the beautiful new blooms can pose for our four-legged family members. Types to watch out for during springtime include azaleas, daffodils, hyacinth, cotoneasters, geraniums, tulips and irises.
“For avid gardeners, installing fencing will help deter your four-legged friend from areas with lots of plants and bulbs – but be sure to still keep a close eye on them while they’re outside. If you spot your pet eating a potentially dangerous plant, or they suddenly become unwell after being in the garden, contact your vet as quickly as possible.
Safe spring cleaning
“As well as enjoying changes outdoors, you may find yourself wanting to spring clean your home too – but it’s important to keep four-legged friends away from any toxic products. Many household cleaners such as bleach, oven cleaner, dishwasher tablets and laundry detergents can be very dangerous for our pets -the harsh chemicals can cause burns to wandering paws and can even be fatal if ingested. The good news is that there are plenty of pet-safe alternatives that are also better for the environment, such as baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice – using these will help you create a gleaming and fresh interior, without any dangers to your furry friend.
“If you do use stronger products, it’s essential to follow instructions and dilute where necessary. Wipe down floors and surfaces with fresh water after using chemicals to ensure your pet can walk around safely, and don’t forget to empty any mop buckets as soon as you’ve finished. Be sure to store products well out of reach – if your pet has mastered the art of opening door handles, it’s worth fitting a child proof lock on your cleaning cupboard!
Keeping away from Easter treats
“Humans aren’t the only ones tempted by a chocolatey treat or hot-crossed bun – our pets can sniff them out even when concealed in packaging. Having chocolate in the house can pose a real danger to our precious pets – it contains a substance called theobromine, which can be life-threatening to animals if consumed.
“Signs of chocolate poisoning include excessive thirst, vomiting, a tender tummy, drooling and restlessness. These symptoms can worsen over time, affecting an animal’s heart rate, temperature and breathing. As well as chocolate treats, raisins, peanuts and coffee beans can also be a real danger. I’d always recommend storing chocolate in the same way you’d store medicine – well out of paws’ reach! If you want to give your pet a treat, offer a tasty low-fat snack such as a small piece of carrot. Alternatively, indulge in a new toy, a nice long walk or an extra-long playtime!”