It was a long winter, but before you take your furry friend for a walk in the park, be aware of these nine spring pet hazards:
1. Ticks and Tick-borne Disease
Ticks can spread diseases to both people and pets: Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and babesiosis. The best way to protect your furry friend is preventative care. Ask your vet for advice and click to learn more about ticks and the diseases they spread.
Antifreeze is extremely dangerous to pets because most types appear appetizing to dogs. Antifreeze poisoning is one of the most common forms of poisoning in pets. Fortunately, “pet-safer” types of antifreeze are available. Beware, antifreeze is not the only garage hazard.
Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. It is a serious disease that primarily affects the heart and lungs, but can also affect the liver, kidney, eyes, and central nervous system; if left untreated, it can cause death. Fortunately, effective preventatives are available.
4. Fertilizers and Mulch
According to the PetPoisonHelpline, most fertilizers contain an assortment of toxic substances like iron and nitrogen. They could also have pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. Even if the chemicals don’t poison your pet, large amounts of fertilizer could result in gastrointestinal or pancreatic problems.
5. Metaldehyde (Slug Bait)
Snail bait can be a major risk for dogs and cats and is a more common source of poisoning than you may expect. Snail and slug bait products typically contain the sweet-tasting poison metaldehyde. It’s important that you know the symptoms of metaldehyde poisoning in case your pet is exposed.
6. Bee Stings
Just like people, some dogs can have an allergic reaction to bee stings, especially if stung by multiple bees. Talk to your vet about how you can keep your pup safe from bee stings, and what to do if your dog is stung.
There are 20 species of venomous snakes in North America, and they are found in every state except Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine. Read more about venomous snakes here.
8. Thawing Ponds
Your dog may be accustomed to taking walks over ice covered lakes, rivers and ponds. As the ice begins to thaw, the new dangers presented by exposed water are likely not going to be apparent to him. By keeping your dog on a leash you can protect him from falling through the thin ice.
Horse dewormers often contain ivermectin; it’s also used in small doses to kill parasites in dogs. Toxicity can occur if a dog is given an excessive dose of the medication. To prevent ivermectin toxicity keep horse products out of his reach and only administer the prescribed amount of heartworm medication as instructed by your veterinarian.
If you have any questions or concerns about spring pet hazards, you should always visit or call your vet — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.