What You Need to Know to Keep Your Pet Safe This Spring

Spring has sprung in the northern hemisphere — or at least the spring equinox, the first astronomical day of spring, has passed. Longer sunlit days and warmer temperatures mean all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities for us, our families and our pets. It also means your pets may be exposed to new dangers and health risks.

Before you tackle spring chores and spend more time outdoors, take time to identify the potential hazards that may be hiding around your home, in the garage or in your yard and gardens. Then, take the necessary steps to keep your pets safe. 

 

6 ways to keep pet safe in spring | Diamond Pet Foods

1. Start spring with careful cleaning

Giving your home a deep cleaning each spring is a rite of passage for many people. Just be sure to keep all household cleaners out of paws’ reach. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, nearly all cleaning products — including all-natural products — contain compounds that can be harmful to dogs and cats. Some household cleaners can mildly irritate a pet’s mouth or skin, while others can cause tissue burns, vomiting or diarrhea. Still others can lead to liver or kidney damage. To keep your pets safe, always use cleaning products according to their label directions, keep pets out of the area being cleaned until surfaces are dry, and store cleaning products out of your pets’ (and children’s) reach.

The same goes for laundry detergent pods, automatic dishwasher packs and fabric softener dryer sheets. These products contain cationic detergents (a type of man-made detergent that has a positively charged ion as its active molecule) that can cause serious symptoms, such as ulcers in the mouth and throat, excessive drooling, vomiting and fever. If your dog eats several dryer sheets — whether used or unused — an intestinal blockage may occur.

2. Inspect window screens to avert fresh air fears and falls

Ready to throw open your home’s windows to let in fresh spring air? Be sure to inspect your window screens and have them securely installed before you open the windows. Windows with loose screens or none at all pose a risk to your pets — especially your cat — who may jump onto the sill and fall through. Any unscreened window can be opened just enough to let in fresh air without letting out your cat.

3. Prudent plantings help avoid lethal landscaping

Spring showers bring spring flowers. While a beautiful flower garden is a delight for all the senses, some of the most common spring flowers can be dangerous to your pets. If ingested, spring-blooming crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and lilies of the valley vary in their ability to injure pets.

Dangerous Plants for Pets | Diamond Pet Food

Several toxic compounds can be found concentrated in tulip and hyacinth bulbs. Pets that chew on or eat these bulbs can experience irritation of the mouth and throat, which results in profuse drooling, vomiting or diarrhea. If your chowhound Labrador should eat a large number of tulip or hyacinth bulbs, more severe symptoms such as increased heart rate and changes in breathing can occur.

Daffodils are pretty yellow flowers that contain a compound that triggers vomiting in your pet. This can occur when your pet chews on or eats the bulb, leaves or flower. Besides vomiting, daffodils can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even irregular heart rhythms or slowed breathing.

A variety of lilies are available for garden plantings, and only some of them are dangerous to pets. Some lilies, such as peace, Peruvian and calla lilies, contain compounds that irritate tissues of the mouth and throat. It’s the “true lilies” — the tiger, day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese show lilies — that are more dangerous and potentially fatal to cats. Small amounts of petals, leaves, pollen or even water from a vase containing some of these lilies can result in kidney failure for a cat.

Spring-blooming crocus can cause general stomach upset if ingested. Of the two types of crocus, the autumn crocus is the more dangerous, and ingestion can result in severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure.

Despite their tiny size and wonderful fragrance, lilies of the valley can pack a punch if your pet eats them. Like their relative foxglove, these beauties contain compounds that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased heart rate, abnormal heart beats and possibly seizures.

If you’ll be updating or adding new landscaping this spring, you’ll want to do your research before choosing new plants. Be sure to check out ASPCA’s toxic and nontoxic plants list and Pet Poison Helpline’s poisons database. You’ll want to remove or avoid plants that can cause severe or life-threatening toxicities, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, oleanders, sago palms, yews and true lilies.

4. Mary, Mary, how does your garden (and lawn) grow?

Fertilizers, compost, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides help lawns and gardens grow healthy, green and vibrant. But they can also pose a safety risk to our outdoor feline and canine companions.

While many fertilizers cause only mild digestive system irritation that produces vomiting and diarrhea when eaten, some can have deadly effects if left untreated. Bone meal and blood meal are excellent organic fertilizers that also appeal to dogs. Blood meal can cause vomiting and diarrhea if consumed; more importantly, it can trigger severe pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Bone meal that’s eaten can form a large, cement-like ball in the stomach that blocks the movement of food. And if any fertilizer is fortified with iron, iron toxicity is a possible concern.

Compost is a wonderful way to recycle because it provides organic matter for garden soil. But it can also attract animals, especially dogs and some wildlife. Molds growing on decaying plants or leftover food like bread can produce potentially toxic compounds called mycotoxins, which cause tremors and seizures if eaten. Other foods that can make dogs and cats sick, such as grapes, onions and garlic, may be present in a compost pile.

Consider keeping pets inside when fertilizer, herbicide, insecticide or other products are being applied to lawns, trees and other plantings. Your pet may follow you around as you’re working and be accidentally sprayed. Or your dog or cat may lick the product off of plants as it’s being applied. Keeping pets out of an area that’s being treated is one of the best ways to avoid potential problems.

Finally, be sure to follow all labeled instructions when applying any lawn-and-garden products. It’s also a good idea to keep your pets off of the lawn or out of garden beds until products have been watered into the soil or it has rained and the ground has dried.

5. Seasonal celebrations host hidden dangers for pets

Easter celebrations often mean Easter lilies, egg hunts and baskets filled with chocolate bunnies and fake grass — which also means extra precautions are needed to protect your dog and cat. Chocolate and xylitol-containing sugar-free candy and gum can be harmful to dogs (and cats) if enough is eaten.

Few curious cats can resist checking out new plants and flower bouquets on display. Unfortunately, chewing on or eating a small amount of any part of an Easter lily plant or other true lily blooms and leaves can be enough to cause kidney failure in cats. Cats are notorious, too, for chewing on and swallowing the plastic grass in Easter baskets and other string decorations. Eating string can result in life-threatening injury to the intestines, severe vomiting and dehydration. For your pets’ sake, keep all baskets and treats out of paws’ reach.

6. Tell fleas, ticks and mosquitoes to buzz off!

Warm spring weather likely means that you and your pet will be spending more time out and about in the great outdoors. And you won’t be alone. With warmer weather, fleas, ticks and mosquitoes become active, too. While some areas of the country require year-round prevention of fleas and ticks, pet owners in colder areas often stop during the winter months. If you’ve stopped for the winter, now’s the time to start again. Fleas are one of the most common causes of itching in dogs and cats, and they can transmit immature tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum) to unsuspecting pets. Ticks can carry the microorganisms that cause several diseases, some of which can be dangerous, such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Mosquitoes can carry and transmit a parasite that causes heartworm disease, which can cause heart failure and even death if left untreated. Stay tuned for more information about heartworms and the disease they cause in a future post!

In the meantime, talk with your veterinarian about the best way to protect your dog or cat from these pests and the potential disease-causing agents they can transmit.

Tiny Pests Like Fleas Ticks and Mosquitoes Can Cause Big Problems for Pets | Diamond Pet Food

Enjoy spring knowing you’ve made pet safety a priority

While springtime brings added safety risks, you can greatly reduce your pet’s risk of harm by being aware of these potential dangers. If you suspect your dog or cat has been exposed to something that’s potentially toxic, contact your veterinary clinic or the nearest emergency veterinary hospital for advice. You may also want to call Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) or ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) for help in determining if exposure has occurred, what you can do at home to manage your pet or if you should seek veterinary care immediately.

RELATED POST: It’s No Joke: Pets and Wildlife Don’t Mix

The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.

Search

  • Where to Buy Diamond Pet Food Near Me
    [gravityform id="22" ajax="true"]
    <div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper gravity-theme scoop-form_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_22' style='display:none'><div id='gf_22' class='gform_anchor' tabindex='-1'></div> <div class='gform_heading'> <h2 class="gform_title">The Scoop Newsletter</h2> <span class='gform_description'></span> <p class='gform_required_legend'>&quot;<span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span>&quot; indicates required fields</p> </div><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' target='gform_ajax_frame_22' id='gform_22' class='scoop-form' action='/blog/health/safety/what-you-need-to-know-to-keep-your-pet-safe-this-spring/#gf_22' > <div class='gform_body gform-body'><div id='gform_fields_22' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><div id="field_22_8" class="gfield gfield--width-full gfield_html gfield_html_formatted gfield_no_follows_desc field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><p class="sign-up-text">Sign up to receive email communications, including our <span style="white-space:nowrap;">e-newsletter</span>, The Scoop, where you can be the first to know about social contests, new blog posts and more!</p></div><fieldset id="field_22_1" class="gfield field_sublabel_hidden_label field_description_below hidden_label gfield_visibility_visible" ><legend class='gfield_label gfield_label_before_complex' >Name</legend><div class='ginput_complex ginput_container no_prefix has_first_name no_middle_name has_last_name no_suffix gf_name_has_2 ginput_container_name' id='input_22_1'> <span id='input_22_1_3_container' class='name_first' > <input type='text' name='input_1.3' id='input_22_1_3' value='' aria-label='First name' aria-required='false' placeholder='FIRST NAME' /> <label for='input_22_1_3' class='hidden_sub_label screen-reader-text'>First</label> </span> <span id='input_22_1_6_container' class='name_last' > <input type='text' name='input_1.6' id='input_22_1_6' value='' aria-label='Last name' aria-required='false' placeholder='LAST NAME' /> <label for='input_22_1_6' class='hidden_sub_label screen-reader-text'>Last</label> </span> </div></fieldset></fieldset><div id="field_22_2" class="gfield gfield--width-full gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below hidden_label gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_22_2' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk"> * <span class='sr-only'> Required</span></span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_2' id='input_22_2' type='text' value='' class='large' placeholder='EMAIL ADDRESS' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></div><fieldset id="field_22_3" class="gfield gfield--width-full pet-parent-radio gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_above hidden_label gfield_visibility_visible" ><legend class='gfield_label' >PROUD PARENT OF A<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk"> * <span class='sr-only'> Required</span></span></span></legend><div class='gfield_description' id='gfield_description_22_3'>PROUD PARENT OF A</div><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_radio'><div class='gfield_radio' id='input_22_3'> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_3_0'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_3' type='radio' value='DOG' id='choice_22_3_0' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' aria-describedby="gfield_description_22_3" /> <label for='choice_22_3_0' id='label_22_3_0'>DOG</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_3_1'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_3' type='radio' value='CAT' id='choice_22_3_1' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_3_1' id='label_22_3_1'>CAT</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_3_2'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_3' type='radio' value='BOTH' id='choice_22_3_2' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_3_2' id='label_22_3_2'>BOTH</label> </div></div></div></fieldset></fieldset><div id="field_22_7" class="gfield gfield--width-full gfield_html gfield_html_formatted field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><button class="dropdown-toggle" type="button" id="puppy-drop" data-toggle="dropdown" aria-haspopup="true" aria-expanded="false">DO YOU HAVE A PUPPY?*</button></div><fieldset id="field_22_6" class="gfield gfield--width-full scoop-puppy-radios gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_above hidden_label gfield_visibility_visible" ><legend class='gfield_label' >Do you have a Puppy?<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk"> * <span class='sr-only'> Required</span></span></span></legend><div class='gfield_description' id='gfield_description_22_6'>*By answering "Yes" to this question, you agree to receive the <i>Puppy Love</i> email series</div><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_radio'><div class='gfield_radio' id='input_22_6'> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_0'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='NO' id='choice_22_6_0' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' aria-describedby="gfield_description_22_6" /> <label for='choice_22_6_0' id='label_22_6_0'>NO</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_1'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 1 month old (or younger)' id='choice_22_6_1' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_1' id='label_22_6_1'>Yes, they're 1 month old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_2'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 2 months old' id='choice_22_6_2' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_2' id='label_22_6_2'>Yes, they're 2 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_3'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 3 months old' id='choice_22_6_3' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_3' id='label_22_6_3'>Yes, they're 3 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_4'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 4 months old' id='choice_22_6_4' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_4' id='label_22_6_4'>Yes, they're 4 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_5'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 5 months old' id='choice_22_6_5' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_5' id='label_22_6_5'>Yes, they're 5 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_6'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 6 months old' id='choice_22_6_6' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_6' id='label_22_6_6'>Yes, they're 6 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_7'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 7 months old' id='choice_22_6_7' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_7' id='label_22_6_7'>Yes, they're 7 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_8'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 8 months old' id='choice_22_6_8' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_8' id='label_22_6_8'>Yes, they're 8 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_9'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 9 months old' id='choice_22_6_9' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_9' id='label_22_6_9'>Yes, they're 9 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_10'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 10 months old' id='choice_22_6_10' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_10' id='label_22_6_10'>Yes, they're 10 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_11'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 11 months old' id='choice_22_6_11' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_11' id='label_22_6_11'>Yes, they're 11 months old</label> </div> <div class='gchoice gchoice_22_6_12'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_6' type='radio' value='Yes - 12 months old' id='choice_22_6_12' onchange='gformToggleRadioOther( this )' /> <label for='choice_22_6_12' id='label_22_6_12'>Yes, they're 12 months old</label> </div></div></div></fieldset></fieldset><fieldset id="field_22_9" class="gfield gfield--width-full field_sublabel_below field_description_below hidden_label gfield_visibility_hidden" ><div class='admin-hidden-markup'><i class='gform-icon gform-icon--hidden'></i><span>Hidden</span></div><legend class='gfield_label gfield_label_before_complex' >Newsletter Subscribe</legend><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_checkbox'><div class='gfield_checkbox' id='input_22_9'><div class='gchoice gchoice_22_9_1'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_9.1' type='checkbox' value='Company Newsletters, Contests &amp; More' checked='checked' id='choice_22_9_1' /> <label for='choice_22_9_1' id='label_22_9_1'>Company Newsletters, Contests & More</label> </div><div class='gchoice gchoice_22_9_2'> <input class='gfield-choice-input' name='input_9.2' type='checkbox' value='Puppy Love for your pup&#039;s first year?' checked='checked' id='choice_22_9_2' /> <label for='choice_22_9_2' id='label_22_9_2'>Puppy Love for your pup's first year?</label> </div></div></div></fieldset></fieldset><div id="field_22_10" class="gfield gfield--width-full field_sublabel_below field_description_below hidden_label gfield_visibility_hidden" ><div class='admin-hidden-markup'><i class='gform-icon gform-icon--hidden'></i><span>Hidden</span></div><label class='gfield_label' for='input_22_10' >No Puppy subscribe</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_10' id='input_22_10' type='text' value='Company Newsletters, Contests &amp; More' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></div><div id="field_22_11" class="gfield gfield--width-full gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_11' id='input_22_11' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='The Scoop PopUp' /></div></div></div></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type="submit" id="gform_submit_button_22" class="gform_button button om-trigger-conversion scoop-pupout-submit-btn" value="I WANT THE SCOOP!" onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_22"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_22"]=true; ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_22"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_22"]=true; jQuery("#gform_22").trigger("submit",[true]); }'> <input type='hidden' name='gform_ajax' value='form_id=22&amp;title=1&amp;description=1&amp;tabindex=0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_22' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='22' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_22' value='WyJbXSIsIjMxNWNiMzMzODYwMmM1N2FiZWEyMTM0ZDJlYTQ2NGMyIl0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_22' id='gform_target_page_number_22' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_22' id='gform_source_page_number_22' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='' /> </div> </form> </div> <iframe style='display:none;width:0px;height:0px;' src='about:blank' name='gform_ajax_frame_22' id='gform_ajax_frame_22' title='This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.'></iframe> <script type="text/javascript"> gform.initializeOnLoaded( function() {gformInitSpinner( 22, 'https://www.diamondpet.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery('#gform_ajax_frame_22').on('load',function(){var contents = jQuery(this).contents().find('*').html();var is_postback = contents.indexOf('GF_AJAX_POSTBACK') >= 0;if(!is_postback){return;}var form_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_wrapper_22');var is_confirmation = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_confirmation_wrapper_22').length > 0;var is_redirect = contents.indexOf('gformRedirect(){') >= 0;var is_form = form_content.length > 0 && ! is_redirect && ! is_confirmation;var mt = parseInt(jQuery('html').css('margin-top'), 10) + parseInt(jQuery('body').css('margin-top'), 10) + 100;if(is_form){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_22').html(form_content.html());if(form_content.hasClass('gform_validation_error')){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_22').addClass('gform_validation_error');} else {jQuery('#gform_wrapper_22').removeClass('gform_validation_error');}setTimeout( function() { /* delay the scroll by 50 milliseconds to fix a bug in chrome */ jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gform_wrapper_22').offset().top - mt); }, 50 );if(window['gformInitDatepicker']) {gformInitDatepicker();}if(window['gformInitPriceFields']) {gformInitPriceFields();}var current_page = jQuery('#gform_source_page_number_22').val();gformInitSpinner( 22, 'https://www.diamondpet.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery(document).trigger('gform_page_loaded', [22, current_page]);window['gf_submitting_22'] = false;}else if(!is_redirect){var confirmation_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('.GF_AJAX_POSTBACK').html();if(!confirmation_content){confirmation_content = contents;}setTimeout(function(){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_22').replaceWith(confirmation_content);jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gf_22').offset().top - mt);jQuery(document).trigger('gform_confirmation_loaded', [22]);window['gf_submitting_22'] = false;wp.a11y.speak(jQuery('#gform_confirmation_message_22').text());}, 50);}else{jQuery('#gform_22').append(contents);if(window['gformRedirect']) {gformRedirect();}}jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [22, current_page]);} );} ); </script>