Spring is finally here!

DSC01666It is time to get outdoors and enjoy some warmer temperatures. Most dogs had limited exercise over the cold winter, so be sure to ease them into physical activity. Check out this link for more detailed information on fitness and conditioning. We are not the only ones anxious to get active in the sun. Bees and wasps are coming out of hibernation, so stinging incidents are more common. Feral cats are breeding and staking out territory. Feline sightings, scents and vocals are more obvious with newly opened windows. This can stress out our indoor cats, and trigger changes to the bladder resulting in a unusual urination habits. If you notice any urine accidents, please let us know as soon as possible. For outdoor access cats, there is an increased risk of fighting. Bite wounds are often small and go unnoticed until they form an abscess and rupture.

DSC02130Seasonal chores are in full swing. Some lawn and garden products must be used with caution around pets. Familiarize yourself with the ingredients and warnings on the label of pesticides and fertilizers before you apply them to your yard. If you use cocoa bean mulch, keep it to garden areas away from pet access. Dispose of antifreeze safely and clean up any drips or puddles on the driveway. Set up your composting in pet proof containers and place bird feeders where the accumulated debris is unreachable.

Easter holidays remind us about chocolate toxicity. Keep your pets safe by informing family members not to leave chocolate treats unattended. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is also very toxic. It is used in candies, gum and other sugar free products. If you choose sugar free items, read the label to see what sugar substitute is being used. Every holiday gathering usually involves a feast. While no one wants to exclude pets from celebrating, use sensible treats instead of table food tidbits. All members of the lily family are toxic if ingested. Just a small piece of an Easter lily plant can have a devastating effect. Avoid having these plants in the house or in the garden if animals can get to them.

Lastly, spring heralds the emergence of multiple parasites that infect our pets. Fleas, ticks, heartworm and intestinal parasites all resume their transmission cycles. My focus on parasites article gives you more information on what you can do to protect your pet.

Original artwork courtesy of Sharif Tarabay

Original artwork courtesy of Sharif Tarabay