Woo hoo! Spring is officially here, and after what seemed like an extra long winter, people – and pets! – are eager to get outside and enjoy the nice weather!
Springtime presents some unique safety challenges for our pets. As their guardians, it’s important for us to know what to do – and what not to do – in order to keep them safe. Today I’m sharing just a few tips on ways for keeping your pet safe this spring while still letting her enjoy herself and the beautiful weather.
- Never, ever, ever leave your dog unattended outdoors. I can’t say this enough. It takes only seconds for a dog to wander off or to be stolen right from your own backyard. It happens every day and you’re foolish if you think “it can’t happen in my neighborhood.” Yes, it most certainly can. And it does. My philosophy with dogs is the same as with a 2 year old child – if I wouldn’t leave a child in this situation, I shouldn’t leave my dog in this situation. Please be responsible!
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with an ID tag that has correct information. In the event your dog does get lost, make sure you’ve provided enough information for her to get back home. An ID tag with your name and a current, working phone number is an absolute must. Microchipping your pet is also a must. This is a simple, easy procedure that can usually be done for $20-30, and because of it, hundreds of thousands of pets have found their way home.
- You probably can’t wait to open the windows and air your house out after a long winter. Double check to make sure all window screens are secure and in good condition. This will help prevent a pet from escaping through a busted screen or accidentally falling from a window.
- Beware of poisonous plants. Your beautiful spring flowers are starting to pop up, and if you’re anything like me, that brings a big smile to your face. But so many of our favorite spring blooms are not safe for pets. Check out the ASPCA’s list of plants to avoid.
- Keep your pets off lawns that have recently been chemically treated. Fertilizers, weed killers, and other chemicals used by commercial lawn care companies, as well as those you use yourself, can be very harmful to your pets. Generally, I keep my pets off a treated lawn for at least 24 hours. Follow the instructions from your lawn care company or on the label if you’re treating your own lawn.
- When you start your spring cleaning projects, be sure to use pet-friendly cleaning supplies. I share many great safe, non-toxic cleaners in this post. My advice is to also secure your pets in another room while you clean, and make sure you put all cleaning supplies away before letting your pets back into the room.
- Know the phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center. It’s 888-426-4435. Keep this number handy year-round. You never know when you may need it.
- Is your pet on year-round heartworm and flea prevention? If not, now’s a great time to get him started on it. Visit your vet to have your dog tested for heartworm disease, and then start the treatment and be faithful about it each and every month!
These are just a few ideas for keeping your pet safe this spring. I’d love to hear your suggestions, as well. What tips do YOU have for keeping Fido safe? Share with me in comments below!