Spring-time brings more pleasant weather, flowers and a number of other positive experiences. However, spring-time can also present dangers for pets which are not as prevalent in the winter months.
Toxic plants can be dangerous for dogs and cats
While many of the plants that we commonly keep in our gardens are beautiful to look at, these same plants can cause serious poisonings for our pets. In addition, many of us bring these same flowers indoors as bouquets as well, especially around Easter. Lilies are one the most common poisonous plants found in bouquets and in gardens, but there are many other types of plants that can be poisonous to our dogs and cats as well. Rhododendrons, azaleas, Japanese ewe, foxglove, tulips, oleanders, castor beans, crysanthemums and many other types of plants can all be very toxic to unsuspecting curious pets.
Pets can be exposed to chemical toxins in the spring
With warmer temperatures, many of us begin using chemicals such as fertilizers and insecticides on our lawns and gardens. However, it is important to remember that these chemicals can be hazardous to pets who consume or are otherwise exposed to them. All pets should be kept away from areas treated with such chemicals. In many cases, safer non-toxic products may be preferable and equally effective.
Flea, tick and other parasite exposures
Sping is also the time of year when fleas, ticks and other parasites start to make their presence known. Though fleas and ticks can be present year-round, their populations tend to increase drastically in the spring-time. Both dogs and cats are targets for these parasites.
While fleas and ticks can cause your dog or cat to become uncomfortable, the diseases that these parasites carry are of even more concern to your pet’s health. Diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and many others can be transmitted by ticks. Fleas can transmit diseases such as tapeworms, cat scratch fever (to people), even bubonic plaque. In addition, mosquitos may carry heartworms that are capable of infecting your dog or cat.
Allergies in dogs and cats
Just as in people, spring-time can bring on allergies for many dogs and cats as well. Pets may develop allergies to plants, pollens, fleas, and many other substances. Unlike people, spring-time allergies in pets most commonly show up as skin problems. Allergic dogs and cats generally become very itchy, may experience hair loss or inflamed skin and may even show a change in behavior due to the irritation of the allergy. Less commonly, respiratory symptoms or runny eyes may occur as a result of allergies in pets.
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