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To fully experience their surrounding environments, pets rely heavily on their sense of smell and taste. This leads to a greater understanding of the world around them, but unfortunately, this tactic can also land them in hot water.

Pet poison prevention is a priority all year long, but with an entire week devoted to raising awareness (March 17-23), we can set the tone for spring pet safety here and now!

Seasonal Avoidance

Both pets and people love spring because of the beautiful, blooming flowers. However, pet owners should take note that the following blooms can cause a potentially catastrophic pet poisoning:

  • Lilies (all parts of the plant are extremely poisonous to cats)
  • Azaleas
  • Rhododendrons
  • Hydrangeas
  • Iris
  • Tulips
  • Hyacinth
  • Crocus

Additionally, the products used to keep flowers and garden beds looking great can threaten spring pet safety. Certain chemicals found in fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and mulch can cause toxicity if eaten by a pet.

An Extra Step

The garage and garden shed are prime locations for a potential pet poisoning. While your pet may simply show enthusiasm for being out of the house (it’s spring, after all!), please don’t allow them to wander into these places unsupervised.

The following hazardous products should be kept off the ground, preferably behind closed cabinet doors:

  • Rodent bait
  • Bottles of antifreeze, brake fluid, and window washing fluid
  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Various types of glue

There are also household toxins that should never be left out for pets to sample, such as bleach and toilet cleaner. Spring cleaning in and around the house should only be conducted in well-ventilated rooms; make sure all surfaces are fully dry before allowing your pet access.

Spring Pet Safety

Another way to ensure spring pet safety is to enforce strict rules in the kitchen. Pets love to pick up scraps from the floor or dig into trash cans, but if any of the following foods are eaten, you could be looking at a pet emergency:

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (found in sugar-free mints, gum, and baked goods)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raisins/grapes
  • Avocados
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Garlic, onions, shallots
  • Uncooked yeast dough
  • Bones

Always keep your trash bins closed, and try not to leave harmful ingredients out on the counter or tabletop.

Healthy Reminders

Year-round parasite prevention is the best way to protect your pet from ticks and tick-borne diseases, fleas, and heartworm disease. If you stopped giving your pet their preventive last fall, it’s necessary to have them tested for heartworm before placing them back on their monthly dose.

Scheduling a wellness exam for your pet can help them put their best paw forward in the coming months. During your visit, we can also answer any additional questions you might have regarding spring pet safety.

Remember, the veterinarians and staff at Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center are always here to help. Happy spring!