Spring is nearly here, and although the weather isn’t quite warming up just yet, we are seeing signs of the season with arrival of blooming flowers, easter chocolate and the need to Spring clean (well, some of us!).
But those seasonal signs and actions can provide a danger to your dog. Here are 9 Spring hazards dog owners should be aware of…
Be careful with your Easter eggs around your dogs. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine (similar to caffeine) and unfortunately it’s poisonous to dogs. The amount of theobromine differs depending on the type of chocolate, with dark and baking chocolates containing the highest amounts.
Dogs love spending time in the garden or running off lead in your local park/ woodland but watch out for those poisonous spring flowers. Lilies, daffodils and azaleas are incredibly toxic species of plant. Daffodil bulbs are exceptionally toxic but also the flower heads can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy. Other springtime toxic plant species are bluebells, crocuses and tulips. Although tulips are considered ‘less toxic’, do seek veterinary advice should you believe your dog has consumed part of the plant.
Hot cross buns are especially popular around Easter time. Unfortunately grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas can cause kidney failure in dogs so be careful.
Slug/ Snail Pellets
Slugs and snails are most active during Spring/ Summer and so many people will try to protect their flower beds by using slug/snail pellets. These pellets, when ingested by your dog can cause severe poisoning that can lead to death. If you own a dog who loves a good sniff around your garden, you can use more natural repellents that aren’t harmful to pets.
Ivy grows more actively in Spring and unfortunately dogs who consume ivy (more commonly Hendra Helix also known as Common Ivy or English Ivy) can develop excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. In some severe cases there may also be blood in their vomit or faeces.
Tick season is nearly upon us. Those pesky little creatures tend to lay dormant in the colder months and become more active as the weather warms up. Ticks aren’t just little pests that feast on your dog and cause him to itch. They’re carriers of diseases, including Lyme disease caused by serious bacteria, which affects the muscle and nerve cells. There are many tick twisting tools on the market so you can remove the tick yourself efficiently. However if removed incorrectly, mouthparts left inside your dog could result in inflammation and infection. So do visit your vet should you not feel comfortable to remove ticks yourself.
This is an artificial sweetener used in home baking and found in many sugar-free/ diet products. This ingredient can also be found in your chocolate and sweet Easter treats. Dogs are extremely sensitive to xylitol and even a small amount can cause toxicity. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting and loss of coordination. Please seek immediate veterinary advice and care should you believe your dog has consumed something containing the ingredient.
As we begin to head into Spring, bees and wasps become more active and dogs love to play chase. This typically can result in them being given a good sting from one of the two buzzing creatures. In some cases mild cases you can remove the sting from your dog and use a cold compress to reduce swelling. However in severe cases your dog could enter anaphylactic shock and experience severe signs of facial swelling and difficulting breathing. Seek immediate veterinary advice.
Fertilisers and Mulch
As the weather warms up, those green fingers tend to get itchy to do some gardening. Most fertilizers contain many potentially toxic substances including iron and nitrogen. They could also include pesticides, fungicides and/or herbicides. Large consumptions of this can cause gastrointestinal or pancreatic problems. Should you be getting your green fingers out do check the fertiliser and/or mulch you’re using if pet friendly.