The daffodils are beginning to bloom, lambs are bleating in the fields and our trees are becoming green once more. Yes, you’ve guessed it – spring is here! The longer days and pleasant weather are a great excuse for us to get out and indulge our passions again, but it isn’t just humans who are full of the joys of spring… Our pets love the change in season too! Your pooches will be eager to get off the leash and bound their way around the countryside and your pussycats will love nothing more than basking in the unfamiliar sunshine. As fun as spring can be for the family pets, there are also a number of hazards that you may need to be aware of. Read on in our Emporium guide of how to avoid these and put a spring in your pet’s step!
Easter falls on the 16th of April this year. Easter means Easter eggs and Easter eggs mean chocolate. Whilst they can be delicious for us, they can be potentially deadly for our dogs and cats. Chocolate contains caffeine and the toxin theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking, seizures, increased respiratory rate and heart failure. The amount and type of chocolate ingested, and the size of the animal affects the level of toxicity. Typically, the darker the chocolate, the higher the theobromine content. Do not feed any chocolate to dogs or cats and be aware that if you leave it out they might be tempted to nibble.
Like it or loath it, the advent of springtime means getting out into the garden and doing some pruning, trimming, mowing and strimming! It might be hard work but once completed there’s nothing finer than a well-tended garden in bloom, and enjoying it with our pets, but be aware of the potential dangers. Herbicides can be toxic, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, collapse, respiratory or heart problems, liver failure and kidney failure. Metaldehyde, or slug pellets as we know them, is extremely toxic and can cause gastrointestinal problems, muscle tremors and seizures. Other poisonous gardening materials include insecticides, fertilisers and bone meal, so watch what you leave out!
Hot cross buns
The exact origins of the hot cross bun are unknown. They seem to have emerged in the middle ages, baked and eaten to celebrate the end of Lent. A sweet and spicy bun, packed with raisins, and decorated with a distinctive pastry cross on top, hot cross buns have been a tasty treat in this country for centuries. However, much like chocolate, what is delicious for us might be deadly for our pets. The raisins, sultanas and currants used in making the hot cross buns are all toxic to dogs. They could cause kidney failure which can, on occasion, result in death.
It isn’t just the garden that faces an overhaul in spring. The drier, warmer weather means that it’s a great time to fling open the windows, clear out the cupboards and dig out the duster! For dogs, and especially cats, there’s nothing more exciting than when they have previously undiscovered boxes to clamber over and hidey-holes to explore. You may well find them under your feet through most of the spring clean but you’ll also have to be careful they don’t ingest any of the cleaning products you might use. Bleaches can cause corrosive injuries and detergents may contain irritants, causing salivation and marked gastrointestinal signs. Oven drainers and drain cleaners are also dangerous to our pets and can cause severe corrosive injuries.
Bulbs and flowers
One of the most enjoyable parts of spring is seeing your flowerbeds exploding with colour. On a warm April day, while bees happily buzz from flower to flower, and with a strong symphony of floral fragrance, your garden can be the best place to spend your time. Beauty can come at a price, however. Some pets can be partial to munching on flowers but daffodils, tulips and crocuses, if eaten, can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, neurological issues and cardiovascular problems. Watch the bulbs when you’re planting them and, if they do take a shine to the flowers, try to coax them away with a tasty treat alternative.
In the event that your dog or cat consumes, or is affected by, any of the substances above you should contact your vet immediately. You’ll need to provide them with details of when, what and how much your animal has eaten and take any relevant packaging with you to the vets.
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