Spring Has Sprung
Some garden tips to keep your pet safe
Spring Has Sprung
But don’t sit back in the sunshine just yet – Companion Care Vets help you to keep your pets safe in the garden this season
The clocks spring forwards, the evenings get lighter and we all embrace the joy of spring. Our pets, as much as us, enjoy the opportunity to get back to their outdoor roots but when preparing your garden, it is important to be aware of possible dangers to our pets.
Many people use mulch in their gardens and there are certain types of mulch that pet owners should not use. Cocoa bean much, for example, is known to poison dogs. Because this mulch is made from the hulls of cacao beans, it has a rich chocolate aroma that entices animals to eat it. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is a caffeine derivative toxic to animals and can even kill them if enough is ingested.
Tulips, daffodils and garden hyacinths are toxic to dogs and cats. Although all parts of the plant are toxic, it is the bulbs that actually contain the most toxins. Keep these plants in an area that cannot be accessed by your pets or monitor them when they are near these particular plants.
Non-toxic bulbs include spring crocus and grape hyacinth.
Flowers and plants
There are a wide variety of popular seasonal plants that are also poisonous if ingested by pets. All the parts of lilies, even a tiny amount, can cause kidney failure in cats, amaryllis can also cause abdominal pain, vomiting, depression and tremors.
Azalea and Rhododendron can also be harmful to small animals. They contain toxins, which if ingested, can damage the heart and nervous system. Some safe alternatives may be Easter orchids, daisies, violets or Easter cactus. The experts at most local garden centres should be able to tell pet owners which plants are safe for their pets.
Always investigate whether the fertilizers you are using are safe for use around pets. Contact poison control before using any product, if you have any concerns. If you are using soil amendments, such as manure or fish emulsion, be sure to monitor your pets when they are in the yard. Many dogs are attracted to the smell and will dig in the gardens anywhere it was applied.
Pesticide products are often a popular combatant to pest problems, but it is important that pet owners keep pets indoors for as long as the instructions suggest. If a dog or cat accidentally gets outdoors during pesticide treatment and eats the grass or even walks on it and then licks its paws, it could become very ill.
If your cat loves to hunt for rodents, they should be sure to keep a watchful eye during the spring season. There is a chance that rodents could have come into contact with toxic pesticides and could be deadly to cats or other pets that may ingest them.
Just like us, our pets can suffer from allergic reactions – changes in the weather and pollination of plants can cause scratching, sneezing, fur loss, red or dry skin, constant licking and nasal discharge.
Some pets love to spend their summer days cooling off in a paddling pool or any body of water. While splashing about can be a lot of fun and a good form of exercise, it can cause ear and skin problems. Dog owners should keep a close eye on their dog’s ears and keep them on a good diet with essential fatty acids for a strong and healthy coat.
If your pet exhibits any signs that do not seem normal, call your vet right away.
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