What are the biggest spring hazards for cats and dogs?

What dangers does spring bring to your pets?

Springtime marks the beginning of bluer skies, warmer weather, holidays and the odd spell of wet weather! Whilst most of these changes are welcome and many people (and pets) spend the last few months of winter yearning for spring, it’s important to be aware of the dangers spring can bring for your furry friends. With all those changes that come with spring, a number of unwelcome changes could cause more danger to pets than you may at first realise. To make sure that you can be prepared for the change in seasons, here are the spring hazards that you should be aware of for cats and dogs.

Poisonous plants

Bluebells toxic dogs

Bluebells can be particularly dangerous to dogs.

You may not realise it, but many of the beautiful flowers that pop up around spring are actually poisonous for your pets. Flowers such as lilies, daffodils and azaleas may look beautiful in your flower bed but are particularly toxic to both cats and dogs.

Daffodil bulbs are the most toxic part of the plant, so you should make sure that keen pups and kittens don’t dig them up and digest them. Daffodil heads are also harmful and could cause vomiting, diarrhoea or lethargy in your pets.

If you have a dog, you should be particularly aware of bluebells. All parts of this plant are harmful to dogs and, when ingested, could cause vomiting, abdominal discomfort or even heartbeat irregularity.

Pelargonium plants such as geraniums are also toxic to dogs, but to be on the safe side, it is always best to seek veterinary advice if you have suspicions that your pet has eaten spring flowers. At petGuard, we can provide 24/7 access to vet video consultations using FirstVet in case you suspect your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have.

Which spring bulbs are safe for dogs?

To help make sure your dog is safe when they’re sniffing round your garden or exploring at the park, here are some of the spring flowers which are safe for dogs:

  • Berry plants (such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)
  • Camellias
  • Cornflower
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lavender
  • Michaelmas Daisies (Aster)
  • Orchids
  • Roses
  • Snapdragons
  • Sunflowers

Pest pellets

For those who want to protect their spring gardens from slugs and snails, pellets can seem like the obvious choice. However, you should perhaps reconsider this decision if you have cats or dogs roaming around your garden. Pellets are designed to kill slugs and snails and, whilst ingestion by larger animals may not be immediately fatal, it could still be incredibly harmful and the risk of death is definitely there!

Most pellets will contain chemicals and pesticides. Metaldehyde, for example, is the most toxic compound that can be found in pellets. If your pets eat just small amounts of the chemical, they could be in danger of poisoning. Symptoms of poisoning are usually seen within an hour of your pet eating the chemical and can include seizures, muscle spasms, tremors, and twitching. If you believe that your cat or dog has ingested pellets, you should seek veterinary help right away.

What are the symptoms of pesticide poisoning in pets?

If you’re suspicious that pesticides are used where you take your dog out for a walk or if you think that your cat or dog has ingested pest pellets, then these are some of the symptoms you need to look out for:

  • Is your pet vomiting or throwing up?
  • Does your pet have diarrhea?
  • Does your pet have dilated pupils?
  • Is your pet drooling?
  • Does your pet have irritated skin?
  • Is your pet pawing or scratching at their face and eye area?
  • Is your pet drinking a lot of water?

Picnic food

As the weather gets warmer, more and more people will take their lunches out into the sun and embark on picnics with friends.

Picnics themselves are harmless to your pets, but any litter and food waste that could be left behind may be a danger to them. Smaller foods, such as raisins, are also a choking hazard to cats and dogs. Both grapes and raisins (also currants and sultanas) pose a risk of kidney failure in dogs if they are ingested.

Grapes toxic dogs

Grapes and raisins are poisonous to dogs and can cause kidney damage.

There is no safe amount of these foods that can be eaten by dogs, so medical help should always be sought if you believe that your dog has indulged in them.

Chocolate is also harmful to dogs. The delicious treat contains a caffeine-like stimulant called theobromine which is poisonous for dogs. Dark chocolate contains the largest amount of the stimulant, along with baking chocolate. Many popular picnic treats may contain traces of chocolate, so it is important to steer clear of picnic areas when taking your dog for a walk.

Seasonal allergies

Just like humans may suffer from hay fever during springtime, pets can fall victim to seasonal allergies. Allergies in pets can be caused by irritants that live in plants or changes that take place in their environment as the weather changes. Dogs and cats can both suffer from seasonal allergies and common symptoms can include watering eyes, itching, constant sneezing, gnawing on their paws and red ears. if your pet displays any allergy symptoms and seems to be discomforted curing the spring, it may be a good idea to take them to the vet.

For the most part, spring is the perfect time for your furry friends to soak up some sun and enjoy the new smells and sights that the season brings. However, it is always important to check up on your pets and to make sure that the environment around them is safe to explore.

What are the signs of seasonal allergies in cats?

Cats can develop allergies at any age, but can be more prone to developing seasonal allergies if they spend lots of time outside. Thankfully, your cat’s seasonal allergies are perfectly manageable. You just need to know the symptoms you need to look out for:

  • Do they have a runny nose?
  • Do they have watery eyes?
  • Do their eyes look red?
  • Are the insides of their ears red?
  • Are their paws red?
  • Is their belly red?
  • Are they sneezing?
  • Do they have irritated skin?
  • Are they losing fur?

What are the signs of seasonal allergies in dogs?

Allergies are perfectly normal in pets. Your dog might develop allergies to grass, pollen or mould, but they can also develop seasonal allergies too. Some of the symptoms you need to look out for are:

  • Are they excessively licking their paws?
  • Do they have patchy skin?
  • Are they shaking their head?
  • Are they excessively scratching one or both ears?
  • Do they have watery eyes?
  • Are they sneezing?




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