It's that time of year again. After a long winter, my dog and cat friends are anxious to explore the outdoors and all of your spring projects. I would love to see all of you, but not because you have to bring one of my sick or injured friends in for treatment. Here are some tips from my humans on how to keep your pet's springtime curiosity under control. All the best, Carlos
People and pets alike welcome the return of spring in Minnesota. Like the other three seasons, spring presents unique health and safety hazards for our companion animals. This is true both inside and outside of the home. Before taking in all that this exciting season has to offer, pause to take stock of any potential dangers for your pet and make a plan to prevent them.
Spring cleaning is an annual tradition in many households, including those with pets. You don't have to forgo getting your house in tip-top shape, but it's important to keep bleach and other cleaning products out of your pet's reach. Even those that claim natural ingredients contain harmful chemicals for pets. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with this list of poisonous household products before starting your spring cleaning this year.
Lawn and Garden
Products that you use to keep your lawn and garden healthy, such as mulch, fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides can all be toxic for your pet. As with spring cleaning chemicals, be sure to follow the label instructions exactly and keep lawn and garden products out of reach. It's best to keep your pet indoors when you're mowing the lawn or working in your garden. Certain plants are toxic to pets as well.
Watch for Open Doors and Windows
If you prefer a natural cool breeze to air conditioning, consider investing in screens for your doors and windows if you haven't already. Dogs may bolt for an open door while cats are prone to jumping through open windows. A screen allows you to enjoy the cool breeze while keeping your animals safe in the house.
It's Flea and Tick Season
Unfortunately, more time outdoors means that your pet is at greater risk for flea and tick infestation. These parasites are more than just a nuisance. They can transmit serious health conditions like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Feel free to ask your pet's regular veterinarian for a recommendation on the best flea and tick preventive product for his or her species, breed, age, and lifestyle.
It's also the season for home improvements. Whether you're planning to paint, add a room, or repair a wall, make sure you know where your pet is at all times. Curious dogs and cats might taste paint or get a nail stuck in their paw when you turn your back for a second. For safety's sake, plan to keep your pet in a kennel, with a sitter, or in another room in your house with the door closed.
Lastly, we recommend having a basic pet first aid kit on hand and keeping the telephone numbers of the Pet Poison Helpline and Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic on hand. Those are 1-855-764-7661 and 763-682-2181, respectively.
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