Aaah, spring! The most common sign of allergies in people is sneezing and sinus congestion. For pets, however, the most common sign is scratching, which can be severe enough to cause painful wounds and secondary infections. Using antihistamines in combination with more frequent bathing to remove pollen from the coat (which acts like a magnetic dust mop) can be very helpful in managing pet allergies. Be sure to comb or cut out any tangles in the coat and consider trimming their hair short during allergy season. Also, provide your pet with antioxidants—they can help manage free radicals, while helping to stabilize the immune system.
Increased outdoor activity coupled with warmer weather increases the probability of pets being exposed to and contracting diseases. Scraps of food and waste that may have been preserved for as long as several months by the cool winter weather, can now be a treasured find for your pet. Unfortunately, the find includes a high risk of food poisoning and a higher risk of your pet picking up parasites. More visits to dog parks and greater animal activity in the spring, means an increase in the spread of intestinal worms, fleas and ticks.
Pets are often attracted to the fresh smell of spring plants, some of which are toxic. Almost any growing plant, if consumed in large enough quantities, can cause intestinal upset. Agriculture chemicals such as fertilizer, insecticides and herbicides are applied in the spring by both farmers and homeowners. Exposure can sometimes cause chemical burns to the feet, digestive problems and even more serious illnesses, especially if the chemicals have not been “watered in” or the foliage is still wet from a recent application.
Pets get “spring fever” just like we do after being less active all winter. In their excitement and playfulness, they are at a higher risk of injuring themselves. Pools and lakes become attractive, and pets may be distracted by the moment and find themselves in a dangerous situation. Just like us, pets should increase their exercise gradually to avoid sore muscles and joints and to lessen the probability of an injury. Make sure your pet is getting the best nutrition possible to help sustain their health and avoid injury.
5. Lost Pets
The high energy and distractions of spring also mean a greater likelihood of pets getting lost. Be sure to do all you can to prevent the escape of your pet by keeping doors and gates closed. Always walk pets on a leash and exercise them off leash in a properly enclosed area.
Make the most of the new sunshine spring brings! By watching out for potential hazards for your pets, you’ll be able to keep them healthy and play with them all year long!