Spring is in the air. Time to garden. Time to play in the sunshine. Let the dog out. Let the cat out. Feel the sunshine warm on your face. Energizing. The renewal of life. And weeds.
Foxtails always spring up this time of year. Get to them quickly. They can get in your pets ears, nose, mouth, and under their fur. Cats and dogs alike. Once they wriggle their way in they may lodge permanently, unseen. Foxtails can cause all sorts of infections and problems. They can even lead to death.
It is always a good idea to give your pet a quick exam when they come in from the yard or a walk in the park. Look for any irritation, ear shaking, examine between their toes. While you are at it, look for ticks as well.
This is also a wonderful time to bond with your dog or cat. Those that like getting touched will love the extra attention. Those that do not, will slowly learn to tolerate it, and maybe even love it after awhile.
Pet Outdoor Safety
We all want to protect our pets the best we can. There are so many unknown variables out there that can cause harm to our little loved ones.
The best preparation is knowledge. The more we know, the safer our pets will be. Now that doesn't mean you have to go out and get a veterinarian degree to know everything, but a little bit of knowledge and awareness can go a long way.
In the springtime plants bloom, we go outdoors more often, and our pets get excited about exploring nature.
Here are some simple pet safety tips taken from the ASPCA's pet safety pamphlet that can keep your animal safe in the great outdoors:
1. Plants- Make sure you check the toxicity level of any plant you purchase for your garden. Many plants can be deadly to cat's and dogs.
2. Barbeque- Your dog or cat may very well be enticed with the savory smells of cooking meat. But they may get burns from the fire, hot coals, or hot metal. If they are rooting around the ashes for a 'snack' the ash itself could make them quite ill.
3. Fences- Make sure your pet's collar cannot get caught on any fence or gate part. Make sure your fence is in top condition with no holes to escape from. Also make sure there is no strangling hazard if your pet tries to get over the top. Make sure there is no way to accidentally hang themselves
4. Antifreeze- Very tasty to pets. And very toxic. Even in small amounts. Make sure your garage is clean of any fluids or oils.
5. Old water- Water in old tires, ponds, pans, etc. can contain all sorts of bacteria and algae.
6. Decking, old wood, metal parts- There are a myriad of dangers here. Make sure your pet's play area is safe from these. Besides, its spring, time to clean up the yard anyway.
7. Compost- Even though you do not put animal products into the compost heap, your pet might want to poke around for tasty treats. Not a good idea.
8. Pesticides- Be very cautious where you spray. Read the directions throughly. Dogs and cats often have a lover tolerance level than humans.
9. Fertilizer- Fertilizer can be hazardous to your pet. Make sure they are not enticed by it's smell. I write a bit about a woman dealing with guilt for allowing her pet to get into fertilizer. The dog was in severe pain for 3 days. Let her suffering save you from yours. See my article Pet Loss and Guilt
Top Ten Reasons to Keep Your Pet on Your Property
Speaking with Dr. Woods of L.A. Central Animal Hospital L.A. Central Animal Hospital, it became clear that most pet deaths can be prevented. A big factor is allowing your pet to roam freely without supervision, allowing them to get into many situations which can be deadly. Most all of these situations can be prevented by easily with just a little bit of effort. This effort will can save you much grief and suffering. These are my top ten reasons why you should keep your pet indoors, leashed, or in a well fenced yard:
1. Getting Hit by a Car- This can be devastating. Seeing a pet howl in extreme pain even once, after getting hit by a car, will make you more cautious. And that is when you are lucky. Most pets don't survive by getting hit by a two ton speeding object.
2. Poisons- You have no idea what a pet might find palatable. Antifreeze is a deadly poison which is very tasty to pets.
3. Abuse- Yes, it is out there, you do not want your dog or cat to be a part of dog fight or used in a sick ritual (unbelievable, I know, but we do see it in the newspaper).
4. Disease- You pet can come into contact with animals, garbage, water, all of which can carry diseases that can be picked up by your cat or dog.
5. Injury- Rusty nails, glass, the unknown. Your cat or dog can easily get damaged when they are out exploring.
6. Getting Lost- Our pets are domesticated, they do not have the homing skills of their ancestors, and can get very easily lost.
7. Fights with Other Animals- You do not know what other animals are allowed to roam free, or are naturally wild that your pet can come across.
8. Weather- Heat and cold can both cause death and suffering in your pet.
9. Lack of Food/Water/Shelter- Your pet quite possibly will have to go without these basics out on their own. Again, they are domesticated and do not have the skills needed to survive on their own.
10. Being Stolen- Even in a car with the windows down (a must, of course), someone can come in and take your pet. When they see a pet wandering on the street, they might just assume the pet is ownerless and take it. They may take your pet to resell, use in fights, and who knows what else.
Ultimately, your pet is your responsibility. By taking the necessary precautions, you can save yourself and your pet much suffering, loss, expense, and sorrow.
Just by reading these tips and staying aware and present to these possible dangers, you will go a long way to ensure the safety and health of your pet.
They love us so much, all we can do is take the best care of them we can.
This article may be reprinted by permission only.
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