It’s Spring again which means it’s the time of year when we start enjoying the outdoors and do some much needed spring cleaning. However, with the changes that this new season brings, there are potential dangers for your pet.
Bugs and insects
Heartworm disease is transmitted via a mosquito’s species that are found in warmer climates. It is therefore advised that you give your pet preventive treatment if you are importing a pet or going on holiday during spring, to somewhere with a warmer climate. The reason why this is so important is because heartworm can be fatal and that preventive medication is a bargain when compared to how much it costs to treat it. Lungworm Britain’s recent warm wet weather means that Lungworm is becoming an increasing problem. It is weather conditions like this that usually associate with an increase in the population of slugs and snails.
These beasties carry larvae of the lungworm parasite, and so if swallowed by you can migrate to it’s heart and be potentially fatal. You can easily protect your pet against lungworm by using spot on treatments. These can be bought at your local pet shop and they will also be able to give you additional information you may need on the various treatments. In order to avoid lungworm completely you can get rid of the slugs and snails in your garden with slug pellets. However, when using slug pellets it is essential that you take care not to let your pet near where you lay them, as they contain pesticides that are extremely toxic for pets. You can avoid this problem by using homemade repellents such as a bear trap to deal with slugs and snails.
You should be cautious when your pet is around bees and wasps because their curiosity may get them stung. It is recommended that you call your veterinarian if your pet is stung, because alike human’s animal’s allergic reactions can differ in severity.
If your pet is bitten regularly by stable flies it can cause it to suffer from bite dermatitis, especially if they are bitten on their ear tips. Similar problems can arise if your pet is bitten on the eyes, mouth and nose as it can cause discharge in these areas.
You can minimise the chances of your pet being bitten by spraying it with permoxin. You can also make this into a mixture you can rub into your pet’s ears by mixing it with Vaseline or baby oil.
Fleas and ticks
The warmer weather in April, May and June increases the likelihood that your pet will get fleas or ticks. It is their breeding season during these months and your pet is more likely to come into contact with other animals. This significantly increases the risk of fleas and ticks as it only takes five minutes of landing on an animal for them to start eating and reproducing. As well as the bites on both you and your pet, fleas and ticks also carry diseases such as the bubonic plague, lyme disease and rocky mountain fever.
Thankfully, there are a range of products that you can use to both prevent and to get rid of fleas and ticks. It is worth making extra effort with preventive treatments during spring for fleas and ticks because they are notoriously difficult to get rid of. When choosing treatments it is also important that you check if it is suitable for your pet, as certain ones are not at all for some kinds of pets. A common preventive treatment for pet owners are ‘spot on the back of the neck’ one’s, as they are easy and safe to use. These products come on small vials that you squeeze. Commonly known and used brands include Frontline, Advance and Revolution.
In addition to this there are many different tablets that you can give your pet. There are ones such as Sentinel that is given monthly and works by preventing fleas, and cannot be used on cats. Comfortis which is also taken once a month comes in the form of a chewable tablet and kills your pet’s fleas in 30 minutes. There are also tablets such as Capstar and Proban that are taken on a weekly basis, and also quickly eliminate any new infestation of fleas or ticks.
There are also many shampoos, sprays and rinses. Popular sprays and rinse products include Permoxin and Fido. These products can be used weekly and should never be used on cats. There is also Fido’s itch free shampoo which will clean your pet while killing fleas or ticks and is safe for cats and dogs. Most other shampoos are safe for cats but it is still important you check the label first.
Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms can all be a problem for your pet in the warmer months of the year. In order to prevent them from making a home in your pet’s body you should use worm medication that works on all different kinds of worms. You should also worm your pet every three months.
If your dog is used to wearing a coat during the colder months of the year, you may want him to wear a lighter coat on cooler days.
With the warmer weather it means your pet is likely to spend more time outdoors. Therefore, it is a perfect time to give your pet a microchip, just in case they stray too far as it is a useful means of identifying your pet, and getting your pet back to you. Similarly, it is also recommended that you get a tag for your pet imprinted with your home address and a contact number.
Please note: From 6 April 2016 all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales will be legally required to be microchipped and their details registered on one of the authorised databases such as Petlog.
In the warmer weather, your pet, especially if it’s a dog, is more likely to stick its head out of your car window when driving. However, you should never allow your pet to do this. Flying debris and insets can cause inner ear or eye damage to your pet.
Your dog is more likely to catch this illness in spring because they will start spending more time outside again. This illness can affect dogs of all ages but young and elderly dogs are more likely to suffer. The symptoms include coughing (which can worsen with exercise), breathlessness, high temperature, lack of energy and a loss of appetite. Vaccinations are available and come in the form of nasal drops and will need to be taken to prevent this illness. The nasal drops will have to be taken ten days before putting your dog in a kennel, in order to ensure they are fully protected.
Spring also means an increase in Britain’s bird population as the temperature increases. However, this can mean your pet will seek to catch these birds and bring them back into your home.
This is especially the case if your pet is a cat. This problem can be minimised by fastening a bell to your pet as this will warn birds off, before your pet manages to catch them. You can reduce the opportunities of your pet catching birds further by correlating your pets feeding times, with the times birds are mostly feeding. This is usually at sunset and sunrise. It is also recommended if you have a bird feeder, to elevate it as this will make it much more difficult for your pet to catch the birds, even if they are a climber.
You and your pet are likely to gain weight during winter, so spring provides a good opportunity for you to help your pet to lose that weight. However, it is important that you start slowly as increasing your pet’s level of exercise too quickly, can lead to your pet developing injuries. You can avoid this by gradually introducing your pet to exercise. An example of this would be to increase the length of their walks over time.
The changing of seasons from spring to winter for many people is a time to start work on their gardens. However, it is essential that you are careful when using fertilizers as many are extremely dangerous for your pet, if they swallow them. Mulch, the layer material applied to soil can also be toxic for your pet. In order to avoid any problems for your pet when doing your gardening, you should always store fertilizer products in an area inaccessible to your pet. You should also leave some time in between applying the fertilizer, and when you allow your pet back into your garden.
It is also essential that you are aware of plants during spring that are poisonous to your pet. Examples of such plants include; rhododendron, sago palm and azalea. These plants are highly toxic for your pet and can prove fatal if eaten. In addition to this, many kinds of spring bulbs can also be highly toxic for your pet. You can avoid this problem by selecting non-toxic plants and bulbs. This will allow your pet to dig and smell plants in your garden without serious risk.
For many people, springtime is synonymous with cleaning one’s home. However, you should be aware that many household cleaning products are potentially harmful for pets.
Virtually all cleaning products, even natural ones contain chemicals that are considered harmful to your pet. You should therefore make sure much of the cleaning products you use, are inaccessible to your pet at all times.
In order to avoid any problems, make sure you read the labels on your cleaning products. If it’s a nice day, open your windows in order to let the chemicals out while cleaning, and take your dog outside while you clean and let in once the chemicals have aired out.
Similarly, home improvements are also synonymous with spring. Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be highly toxic for your pet. There is also the potential for physical hazards when doing home improvements, as often there could be nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools lying around the place. Again it is important to read the labels of any potentially toxic products you may use. It is also recommended that you confine your pet to a designated pet friendly room in order to avoid any potential problems.
Although your pet can shed it’s hair at any time of year, it is more likely to happen during spring. This is because of the warmer weather which means their bodies will want to shed extra fur, so that they have a lighter coat for summer.
You can minimise the mess caused by moulting by regularly grooming your pet. This will not only decrease the amount of mess caused by moulting, but will also reduce the amount of hairballs your pet digests, and help reduce the oils in your pet’s coat. Grooming can also be supplemented with omega 3 capsules to assist your pet’s transition period, from a winter to a spring coat. In order to make this task easier for you, the zoom groom brush is useful as it will gently remove dead skin. It is also nylon which means it can be used for massage shampoos and flea nixes in your pet’s coat. The slicker brushes with dual level pins on a cushioned pad and curved head are also able to remove dead skin. For long haired pets it is recommended that you get them professionally clipped, as this will help your pet’s coat to become much cooler during hot months. This is especially important if your pet is old as there is the risk of them having a stroke if they get too hot.
Easter treats and decorations
During springtime it is important that you make sure your dog or cat does not eat any chocolate, as this is highly toxic for them. Dark and bakers chocolate is the most dangerous. However, no kind or amount of chocolate is good for your pet. You should take your pet immediately to a vet if they eat any chocolate and have any symptoms.
As well as this you should also be careful when including your pet in an Easter egg hunt. The reason for this is that serious digestive problems can result from your pet swallowing a hard boiled or plastic egg. You can avoid this problem by using nontoxic colouring on your eggs, or making sure the plastic eggs are too big for your pet to swallow.
(Article source: Jordan Creed)