Springtime safety for pets

Photo: Rohappy/iStockphoto

With warmer temperatures and the return of plentiful daylight, spring is a welcome change from winter. But it also presents hazards for your pets. To help them stay safe, keep in mind these tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Easter hazards. If your family celebrates Easter, be aware that chocolate can be toxic to cats and dogs, and true lilies can be fatal if consumed by cats. And that colorful plastic grass people use in their Easter baskets? It can cause obstructed digestive tracts, severe vomiting and dehydration if cats eat it.
Open windows. Pets, especially cats, may jump or fall through unscreened windows. All windows should have sturdy screens installed.
Cleaning chemicals. Are you planning to do some spring cleaning? Make sure all cleaning products – even those labeled “natural” – are properly used and safely stored.
Lawn and garden care. Fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides can be dangerous to pets if ingested. Read and follow labels carefully.
Home improvement hazards. Tackling a project that involves paints, varnishes or solvents? Carefully read all labels and directions to see whether the product is safe to use around pets.
Allergies. Pets can be allergic to food, dust, plants and pollen, the ASPCA says. If your pet is itching, sneezing or sniffling a lot, schedule a visit to your veterinarian.
Bug season. Make sure your pet is on a year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program.
Don’t get lost. Nicer weather means more walks and trips to the park. Your dog or cat should be microchipped and wear an identification tag imprinted with your address, phone number and any other relevant information.

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