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This winter has brought a lot of cold weather and snow, but soon Spring will pop up and we’ll be spending more time outdoors. Afternoon showers will fall, flowers will bloom and spring cleaning will commence.

As pet parents every spring there are certain things we have to keep in mind as the weather warms up. 


1. Beware of Standing Water from Spring Showers and Sprinklers 

Spring showers bring may flowers… and lots of puddles which can be filled with bacteria.

As the weather warms up your pet may be tempted to drink from standing water found along your walking route, but the bacteria in it can cause an upset stomach or other issues.

It’s best to steer your pet away from any tempting puddles. Instead you can carry a portable dish and water bottle or other means of fresh water with you on longer walks.


2. Keep Pets Away from Mulch, Fertilizers and Weed Killers 

Did you know that many popular mulches are toxic to dogs and cats? Coco mulch contains the same properties as chocolate and can lead to serious medical issues if ingested.

Fertilizers and weed killers can also be extremely dangerous for your pets.

My Pet Health Zone recommends choosing “pet-safe options for substances like snail bait and weed and feed products.” Or you could also “try planting flowers like Mexican marigold, which naturally repels insects  without harming animals.”

If you’re unsure if a product is okay to have in your garden you can ask a professional or check with your vet.


3. Beware of Toxic Springtime Plants

Growing your garden in the spring is a great idea. However, there are certain plants that are known to be toxic to pets such as:

  • Azalea
  • Clematis
  • Bittersweet
  • Day Lily
  • Easter Lily
  • Ferns
  • Foxglove
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Morning Glory
  • Rhododendron
  • Tulip

If you think your pet has already eaten a toxic plant from your garden or from a neighbor’s you should contact your vet or local animal poison control center immediately.

4. Keep Spring Cleaning Materials Out of Reach

The chemicals in your spring cleaning supplies can be highly toxic to your pets. The best thing to do is to keep your pets away from you as you clean, and to keep all supplies in a cabinet where curious dogs and cats can’t get access.

The safest cleaning supplies will be free of:

  • ammonia
  • chlorine
  • bleach
  • paraben
  • phosphates

Many eco-friendly products will be safer for your pets than others because they are free from the above chemicals.

To be the absolute safest, even if you’re cleaning with products free of the above listed chemicals, you should keep pets out of your cleaning area.

If you’re unsure if a particular product is dangerous you can call your vet or a pet poison hotline.

5. Watch Out for Aggression with Neighborhood Pets 

After being cooped up in the house all winter, our pets want to spend more time outdoors just as much as we do.

Unfortunately, with so many pets hanging around outdoors there is an increased potential for aggression between your pet and others. Dog and cat fights should be avoided at all costs. It’s best for you to always have your pet close to you when outdoors.

Cats should not be left to roam the neighborhood and dogs should not be left outdoors unsupervised.  Remember that a tethered dog that is attacked by another animal will have no way to escape.

Don’t Forget About Allergies

On a final note, you should keep in mind that dogs and cats can be affected by allergies,which includes: pollen from trees, grass and weeds, cleaning supplies, mold, mildew and much more.