According to a recent report by ABC News, over 90 million chocolate bunnies will be sold this year – and that’s just the beginning, since Easter candy comes in wide variety of shapes and formulations. Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday, some Easter candy may make its way into your home this spring; you can’t enter a grocery store or big box store without walking past huge displays. Candy isn’t the only danger your pet will face this spring – from wildlife to extreme temperatures, here’s what to watch for and prevent to keep your companion safe:
Having more candy around increases the risk of consumption by one of your pets; chocolate tastes good, even to dogs. If you pet noses through an Easter basket or nibbles the ears off of a chocolate bunny, he could become very sick; chocolate poisoning can even be fatal, depending on the size, age and general health of your pet. Candy is always hazardous, but big holidays like Halloween and Easter bring more candy into our homes and make it easier for your pets to access. Keep candy in a sealed container, not an open basket and make sure it is out of reach of curious pets.
If the thrill of longer days and pleasant weather makes you want to take a hike visit a park or just hang out in the great outdoors, you should be aware of the additional hazards wildlife poses in the spring. Snakes, including rattlesnakes are just beginning to reemerge, and teaching your dog to avoid snakes is a must for safety.
If you are planning a hike, make sure your dog is on a leash. Bear encounters are never fun, but in the springtime when cubs are just beginning to explore the world, they are particularly dangerous. A female bear with cubs is very dangerous to both you and your pet; keep your dog on a leash and he won’t be able to explore – and anger—the local wildlife during your hike.
You’d never leave your pet in a hot, locked car in July, but the early spring months may be just as dangerous. A car parked in even partial sunshine can heat up and become intolerable very quickly; cracking the window may not help. In less than 10 minutes, the temperature inside your car can climb to life threatening levels. Take your pet with you when you shop – or leave him at home if the only alternative is a hot, life threatening car.
The chemicals you use to clean your home and car are likely toxic to your pet. Most families store these items safely away, but if you are doing a heavy spring cleaning, you should resist the temptation to leave cleansers and supplies in a convenient area. Your pet could consume the chemicals and be in critical danger in seconds. Dog owners need to secure all trash as well; gulping down a rag that has been saturated with cleaning supplies is just as bad as consuming the products directly.
Spring is a wonderful time of year to bond with your pet and let him enjoy the longer days and blissful weather. The key to staying safe is being aware of the added dangers the season brings and taking steps to protect your pet. For more information about snake aversion training or more pet safety tips, contact Banning Veterinary Hospital or follow our blog.