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Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog

More Than Buds and Blooms: Spring Pet Safety Tips Yield Sweet Results

pet groomingIt’s time to get motivated! Spring has officially sprung, and the honey-do lists are filling up fast. There’s so much to do, and when the weather is accommodating, there’s no stopping us from cleaning, gardening, and building. In the midst of all these activities, spring pet safety can take a back seat – but not if we can help it!

More time spent outside is always a good thing for pets. Increased exercise plus environmental enrichment almost always equals a happier animal – but there are certain risks involved in outdoor access.

The P-Factor

Parasites bounce back (and multiply) in full force after the last frost. With abundant sunshine, toasty temperatures, and longer days, these bugs can really burst an otherwise jolly springtime bubble. Schedule your pet’s annual parasite check-up for worms with your regular veterinarian, and get started on your pet’s monthly parasite (flea & tick) prevention that will last the entire year. If you travel to heartworm areas you should also have your pet on a monthly heartworm preventative.


Seasonal allergies can also really dampen the mood. Instead of the sneezing and watery eyes that people complain about, pets typically face itchy skin. Please let us know if your pet is scratching more than usual, has any physical evidence of skin or ear problems, or has obvious signs of pain or discomfort. He or she may benefit from allergy testing.

Bountiful Botanicals

A beautiful garden is a delight for all the senses, but many plants are downright dangerous to pets. Even small samples of iris, hydrangea, amaryllis, lily, or American yew can result in a pet poisoning.

Please research what’s growing in your landscaping beds, and never display a potted plant or cut blooms in your home that are known to be toxic. For example, Easter lilies are everywhere this time of year. Even if your pet grazes a bloom and picks up pollen on the fur, it could get consumed while self-grooming.

Spring Pet Safety

Cleaning your house is a rite of passage in spring, but many products can cause your pet harm, such as:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Formaldehyde (found in many household cleaners)
  • Perchloroethylene (an ingredient in rug and carpet cleaners)
  • Phenols (such as Pine-Sol)
  • Phthalates (found in air fresheners)

Instead, baking soda, white vinegar, Borax, and mineral oil can be summoned to meet your cleaning needs the natural way.

If you do use commercially available cleaning products, remember these spring pet safety tips:

  • Pay attention to the labels.
  • Use as directed.
  • Restrict your pet from hanging out in or near the areas being cleaned.
  • Do not allow you pet access until all surfaces are dry.
  • Make sure cross ventilation takes care of any vapors.
  • All products should be stored securely, preferably behind close cabinet doors.

Yummy Goodness

Making sure spring treats are off-limits will help with your approach to spring pet safety. Chocolate, raisins, and Xylitol are toxic to pets, and the plastic or foil wrapping can cause painful GI obstruction.

Happy to Help

While veterinary dermatology is our specialty, we’re steadfast in our commitment to your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. If you have any additional spring pet safety questions or concerns, we invite you to contact us. Until then, be well and enjoy this fine season with your lovely pet.