As the weather warms in our Cloquet area and we look forward to long walks with our four-legged best friends, one thing is clear: Spring is here! Spring is one of the best seasons to be a pet owner. As birds become active and give cats a little extra entertainment and dogs spring into action chasing squirrels, it’s vital to balance the fun with a little precaution. To keep your pet safe this spring, we wanted to share our favorite tips for starting the season off on the right paw.
1. Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitos Are Ready to Bite
As the mercury rises, so do the levels of pests that can really bug your pet. These creepy crawlies may be tiny but they present a big problem when it comes to your pet’s health. Why should you double-check that you have your pet’s pest preventive medication ready to go?
Fleas can lead to endless scratching and a long-winded battle to rid your house of them. These itty bitty bugs can carry larvae of intestinal worms and lead to anemia. They are also notoriously tenacious when it comes to infesting carpets.
As for ticks, one bite can cause your pet weeks, years, and a lifetime of joint pain from Lyme disease. These gross arachnids also carry other diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and babesiosis, which is particularly common in Minnesota.
Then there’s the mosquito. This seemingly common bloodsucker spreads heartworms, which can be fatal for dogs and cats.
2. Spring Allergies Are Nothing to Sneeze At
Many pet parents are surprised to learn that their furry little ones can suffer from spring allergies, too. If you notice your dog or cat has itchy, watery eyes, itchy skin, or nasal discharge, they may be struggling with spring allergies.
Luckily, your pet doesn’t have to put up with the discomfort of allergies. We can diagnose your pet and talk to you about medication options. In the meantime, wipe your pet off with a damp towel when they come inside and try to avoid letting them walk through high pollen areas.
3. Spring Plants Can Be Poisonous
We love spring flowers, but we hate that some can make pets extremely sick (and others are even fatal). As you’re planting your garden, letting your pet frolic outside, or bringing home a bouquet, keep in mind that the following are extremely toxic to pets:
- Sago Palms
4. Be Wary of Water
As the weather warms, many pets feel tempted to take a sip from standing water sources. This can be disastrous. Puddles can contain chemicals from run-offs including fertilizers and pesticides. Some water sources can also have a gross and harmful bacteria, called “leptospirosis.” Leptospirosis can be spread from one animal to another through urinating in a water source or saliva. This disease can lead to kidney damage, liver failure, meningitis, and trouble breathing. For vulnerable pets, lepto can be deadly.
On walks, don’t let your dog drink from puddles or standing water sources. In the backyard encourage your dog and cat to drink fresh water by putting out a few water bowls that you refill regularly.
5. Don’t Leave Garden Supplies Out
Sharp tools and chemicals can really do a number on your pet’s health. When you’re working on your spring garden, always put all your tools back and do not leave fertilizers or pesticides where your pet can access them or walk through them. Using pet-friendly weed killers and pesticides is always a good idea.
Wishing You a Wonderful Spring
We hope you’re as excited as our Cloquet Animal Hospital team is for spring this year. With all the progress in ending the pandemic, we have renewed hope for life returning to normal. If your pet is due for their spring check-up, we’d love to see their furry face. Make an appointment now to spring into spring with a healthy, happy pet.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.