Ways To Keep Your Pets Safe Outdoors This Spring

keep pets safe outdoors this spring 
This weekend I noticed that everyone in my neighborhood got out and worked in their yard. Now that springtime is upon us, the whole family is spending more and more time outdoors, and that can mean an entirely new set of dangers for your pets. Below, I touch on just a few.
 

 - Insects:

 

Bugs will bother your pets as much as they bother you. First and foremost, be sure your animals are on heartworm preventative. I also advise leaving your pet indoors in the early evening hours when mosquitoes seem to be at their worst. Fleas and ticks are also harmful to your pets, and your heartworm preventative will most likely cover them. Other insects like flies and bees present a problem, especially if your dog – like mine – likes to chase them and try to catch them in her mouth. I keep a fly-swatter handy to quickly put an end of flying insects in a hurry.

 

 

 
- Lawn & Garden Chemicals and Other Products: Most of the stuff you use in your yard isn’t healthy for your pets – unless of course it specifically says it’s pet-safe. This includes weed killer, fertilizer, and even some types of mulch. If you have your lawn treated by professionals, follow their instructions to keep pets off the grass immediately following treatment, and be aware when neighbors’ lawns have been treated. Other outdoor chemicals that can be harmful to your pets are insect repellent, paint, and gasoline and oil used in your lawn mower and other motorized lawn equipment.
 
– Plants & Shrubbery: It’s amazing how many plants, shrubs, and grasses can be harmful to our pets. Flower bulbs are poisonous, and did you know that something as beautiful as an Easter Lilly will cause kidney failure in cats?  Dogs and cats are even susceptible to poison ivy and poison oak. Always be aware of what your pets are up to in the yard, making sure that poisonous botanicals aren’t on the menu.{It’s a good idea to know and recognize poison plants! Check out the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants and their effects on different kinds of pets!}
 
 - Traffic/Missing Pets: It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. When you’re outdoors with your family enjoying the beautiful weather, of course your pets should be with you. But you have to be diligent about keeping an eye on him, especially if your yard does not have a fence. Pets, particularly dogs, can be gone in the blink of an eye, and can end up missing or worse. Always be aware of where your pet is and what he’s doing. If you’re busy and unable to keep a close eye on him, he’s much better off in the house where he’s safe.
 
 - Love Is In The Air: I’ve noticed that in the spring, especially after a long, cold winter, my pets are particularly eager to get outside. This is even more true with unaltered pets, so this gives me the perfect chance to say please spay and neuter your pets. They’ll be less inclined to try to sneak out of the house through an open door, on their way to a spring fling, and you’ll be doing your part to fight the pet over-population war.
 
Can you think of other dangers our pets face outdoors, and ways to keep them safe? I’d love it if you’d share in comments below.
 

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Christina Berry

Wife, Mom, Social Media Manager, Pit Bull advocate, lifestyle blogger, movie lover, scatterbrain. Founder of Indy Social Media Moms. Lover of cotton candy, boy bands, daisies, all things Paris, Audrey Hepburn, and Key West. Blogging for a cause at The Lazy Pit Bull, and for fun at From The Berry Patch and Chrissy, Inspired.

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Comments

  1. says

    What do you think of micro-chipping your pets?  Our oldest isn’t one who would wander more than a house or two from ours (remember, we live in suburban California and our houses are right on top of each other) but the new little guy has a history of bolting – and fast.  Still considering if we should chip him and if it’s even worth it.  
    Great post!  Sharing on Twitter now!

  2. says

    Wendy, I absolutely whole-heartedly advocate microchipping {in fact, I’ve got a half-written post about it sitting in my drafts right now!}! Both of our dogs are chipped, and it’s a simple, inexpensive procedure that can mean the difference between getting your lost dog back or never seeing him again. I highly recommend doing it to both of your dogs, even though the older one doesn’t seem as likely to run away as the little one. You just never know what kind of circumstances might separate you from your dog. The story of Hanah is a good example. http://www.thelazypitbull.com/2012/03/have-you-seen-hanah.html

  3. says

    While dogs and cats getting Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac is true it doesn’t happen often (typically the short furred or hairless variety), the biggest thing to look out for is they can transfer the urushiol resin to humans causing the humans to break out if they are allergic.

  4. says

    There’s something every Spring & Fall (when the ground is moist) that bothers Lola’s feet and nails. Bring on the epsom salt foot-soaks…it’s the only thing that has seemed to work. Of course the first few times it happened we went to the vet thinking it was a yeast infection but the scrapings always came back negative. And yes – living in a townhome we always have to be cautious of when they treat the grass! Great post :)

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