Pet Health: 5 Hazards to Keep your Pet Away from this Spring

Pet Health for the Spring

Spring is a wonderful time of year! It’s refreshing, rejuvenating and feels like a new start for many of us. However, there are some little known dangers that could be lurking this spring that can be very hazardous to your pets health.

This blog post is not to make you fearful of these toxins but more so equip you with the knowledge to make sure your pet is kept safe and out of harm's way.

5 Hazards to keep your pet away from this Spring

  1. Lethal Landscaping
  2. Fertilizers
  3. Pesticides
  4. Easter Baskets
  5. Spring Cleaning Products

#1 Lethal Landscaping

Pet Health- Springtime Hazards- Flowers

April showers may bring May flowers, but when planting your spring garden, you’ll want to avoid flowers like azaleas, sago palms, rhododendrons, and many more that are highly toxic to you pets.

Toxic plants common during the spring include lilies, daffodils and azaleas. Daffodils can be really toxic, especially the bulbs. However, the flower heads can also cause your pet to vomit, have diarrhea and become lethargic. In severe cases any number of these flowers or plants may result in dehydration, tremors and convulsions. The signs that your pet may have ingested anything can be seen in as little as 15 minutes to one day after they have been eaten.

I used to see a lot of accidental as well as intentional poisoned pets in the ER where I worked.

Here is a complete list of toxic plants from ASPCA: Animal Poison Control Toxic Plants

#2 Fertilizers

Pet Health- Springtime Hazards- Fertilizers

Fertilizers and even something as seemingly harmless as mulch can be unsafe for your fur baby. Some mulches can contain coffee grounds and when accidentally eaten, these can lead to caffeine toxicity.

Also, some fertilizers can contain a substa called disulfoton or other types of organophosphates (OP). As little as 1 teaspoon of 1% disulfoton can kill a 55 pound dog, so really be careful with which fertilizers you purchase.

Organophosphates, while less commonly used, can result in severe symptoms including something called SLUD signs (which is abbreviated for salivation, lacrimation, urination, and defecation), seizures, difficulty breathing, hyperthermia, etc. And in some cases it can be fatal!

Many fertilizers contain a wide assortment of potentially toxic ingredients including iron as well as nitrogen. So many of these substances can be very harmful to your pet. Be sure to read the labels and do your research on which ones are pet friendly and which ones are not. 

Spending a little more time doing research can quite literally save your pet’s life.

#3 Pesticides 

Pet Health- Springtime Hazards- Pesticides

Most pesticides or insecticides (typically those that come in a spray) are more irritants to your pets and are usually not a huge concern unless your pet’s symptoms become persistent. They could have an adverse reaction to any of these ingredients in pesticides or insecticides- so make sure you watch your pet closely if they have been known to munch on your plants.

Some may contain that organophosphate that I mentioned earlier, which again can be life threatening.

I would recommend trying a natural pesticide instead of purchasing one full of chemicals. It’s healthier for your pet and for you too!

You can even DIY your own. Such as a Vegetable Oil Spray, Soap Spray, or Garlic Oil Spray. Many of these DIY sprays will often deter your pets from going too close simply by the strong smell alone.

Here is a great blog post on making your own Natural Insecticides: Natural Homemade Insecticides: Save your garden without killing earth. 

If you notice your pet having odd symptoms after their jaunt out in the springtime air, it's always best to speak to a trained medical professional if you have any questions or concerns.

#4 Easter Baskets

Pet Health- Springtime Hazards- Easter Baskets

Did you know the gifts the Easter Bunny leaves for your human kids can be downright dangerous to your fur babies?

Chocolate eggs and bunny ears are toxic for dogs, especially if they contain baker’s or dark chocolate.

Even the strings of that neon green Easter grass can cause tummy problems if ingested by a curious cat or pooch.

The newest trending ingredient I've come across is called Birch Sugar. It's xylitol with a different name. It is used in some sugar-free candy, gum, mints, jello, and some peanut butter.

So be sure to carefully keep your Easter baskets up and out of harm's way. You never know when your pet may get a hankering for that chocolate bunny!

#5 Spring Cleaning Products 

Pet Health- Springtime Hazards- Spring Cleaning Products

Annual spring cleaning is a wonderful way to clear the energy of the winter from your home. However, take note, it can expose your pet to some harmful chemicals like ammonia, bleach and chlorine.

Even all-natural products can cause tummy upsets. So be sure to keep your pets in a separate room until all recently cleaned surfaces are completely dry.

And maybe open up the windows while cleaning so you don’t inhale all those toxins either.

Try your best to use natural products or like with the insecticides, you can make your own from vinegar, essential oils and water. There are so many DIY recipes online these days, the possibilities are endless!

I know your pets have probably been waiting anxiously for the spring just like you have. This is why I want to make sure you are prepared for any of these springtime hazards that may be a detriment to your pets health.

Bring your pet to the vet immediately if you think they have ingested any of these toxins. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline #855-764-7661.

Here is a link to their website as well.

It’s important to me to be able to help you prevent any mishaps this spring so you and your fur babies can have the best one yet!

With that being said, I wish you a wonder-fur spring with your pet!