Keeping Your Pet Healthy & Happy This Spring
Spring has officially sprung and along with the blossom come a new host of dangers for our pets.
Our gardens (and houses) are beginning to bloom with flowers. Many of these spring delights are poisonous to our pets. Daffodils, bluebells and tulips, for example, all have poisonous bulbs. Be careful that your dog does not dig these up in the garden or on walks. Lilies are a popular Easter flower, but be aware that the leaves and petals can be fatal to cats. The best solution? Avoid having them in the house altogether if you live with feline friends!
It’s also spring mating season! As the days get longer, cats come into season and if there is a tom around you could have kittens in as little as 8 weeks… It is only a matter of time, so if your cat isn’t neutered yet then come in to see us and we can give you advice and book you in.
Whatever the species, in springtime, we see babies everywhere – lambs in the fields, chicks in nests and tiny bunnies in the parks.
It is so important to keep your dog on a lead around livestock, especially this time of year. This is not only for the livestock’s safety but also for your dog.
- If dogs worry or attack sheep it can cause abortion, possibly of the whole flock! They can also cause death in sheep and lambs.
- Cows can become aggressive towards dogs, especially when they are protecting their calves. Avoid fields with cows but if you must, keep your dog on the lead.
- Your dog can also pick up diseases from livestock. These include parasites like Neospora and Echinococcus granulosus. By keeping your dog on the lead and avoiding livestock fields you reduce the risk of your dog picking up these diseases.
Chicks and baby bunnies are more vulnerable to being caught than the adults. This means if your cat is a hunter they will be catching more (and often eating much more). Putting a bell on their (quick-release) collar may help to prevent them from piling on the pounds with extra snacks and stop them from picking up parasites. Regular worming in the springtime will also protect them from these worms.
The big spring clean comes with lots of toxic chemicals. When cleaning, be mindful of where your pets are and make sure, when you are using chemicals, they are always out of reach of your pet. Also, when gardening beware of slug pellets, fertilizers and other lawn treatments – check if these are toxic to your pet; if in doubt, then don’t use it.
And unfortunately, it is tick season again. These little pests are back until it starts getting cold again. Not only are they irritating when they bite, but they can also transmit deadly diseases such as Lyme disease. Whilst checking your pet for ticks after a walk is vital, a good product that kills the tick is essential to stop disease transmission. Not all flea products have tick protection, so choose one that has tick protection and regularly apply it (like it advises on the packet) – in general, the prescription-strength products are much more effective than supermarket or pet shop ones. If you would like advice, we can point you in the direction of an effective product to keep your pet safe.
Plus, of course, Easter is just around the corner already! But sadly, the festivities bring even more risks to our furry friends. Easter Day is the most common time for chocolate poisoning in dogs. Even if you think you have left it in a place where your dog can’t get to it, just check – noses can reach incredibly far sometimes. Ideally, put it in a cupboard far out of reach. It’s amazing what dogs can do for the sweet smell of chocolate. If you know your dog has eaten chocolate, ring us straight away for advice, it is useful to be able to estimate how much and know what type of chocolate (white, milk, dark) they ate.
Chocolate is not the only toxic food around Easter time. Hot cross buns contain raisins that can be fatal to dogs or cats that ingest them. If your pet snaffles one of these then ring us straight away and we will direct you from there.
We hope this has opened your eyes to the new threats to your pets this springtime, stay safe and remember you can always come to us for advice if you are at all unsure.