Springtime Pet Safety Tips

Spring has sprung, and
with the change of season, our thoughts inevitably turn to Easter celebrations,
spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. But the new balmy
weather can prove not-so-sunny for curious pets—or their unwitting parents.
Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of
potential springtime hazards for your delicate, furry friend. To help you out,
our ASPCA experts have come up with a few seasonal tips that will help prevent
mishaps or misfortunes. 
Screen Yourself Many pet
parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows.
Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk—especially cats,
who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug
and sturdy screens in all of your windows. If you have adjustable screens, make
sure they are tightly wedged into window frames.
Buckle Up! While every
pet parent knows dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them
to ride in the bed of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car
windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye
injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury,
or worse! Pets in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a
seatbelt harness designed especially for them. 
Spring Cleaning Spring
cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep
all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all commercially sold
cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. The key to using
them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage.
 Home Improvement
101 Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your
pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels
to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be
cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and
power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated
pet-friendly room during home improvement projects. 
Let Your Garden
Grow—With Care Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides
keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients aren’t meant
for four-legged consumption and can be fatal if your pet ingests them. Always store
these poisonous products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions
carefully. Check out our full list of garden care tips. 
Poisonous Plants Time to
let your garden grow! But beware, many popular springtime plants—including
Easter lilies, rhododendron and azaleas—are highly toxic to pets and can easily
prove fatal if eaten. Check out our full list—and pics!—of toxic and non-toxic
plants for your home and garden.
Ah-Ah-Achoo! Like their
sneezy human counterparts, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and
pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause minor sniffling and
sneezing as well as life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If you suspect your
pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Pesky Little Critters
April showers bring May flowers—and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is
on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick
control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for
your pet. · Out and About Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer
walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat
has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home
address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information. Canines should
wear flat (never choke!) collars, please.