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As the days start to get longer and the weather improves we start to see new challenges for pets.  Easter celebrations also put temptation in the way of our furry friends.  To help keep them safe we have compiled a list of Spring Hazards to be aware of

Easter Foods

  • Chocolate – Chocolate eggs will contain theobromine which is toxic to pets. It is found in highest amounts in dark chocolate but milk chocolate can still be dangerous.  Keep Easter eggs well out of reach of pets.
  • Hot Cross Buns – The dried fruit in these can cause kidney damage in some pets even when eaten in small amounts
  • Spring Onions – All of the onion family can cause damage to red blood cells when eaten by pets

Spring Plants

As Spring arrives the garden begins to bloom and we use some flowers to brighten up our homes. Many of these can be toxic to pets if eaten

  • Daffodils – all of the plant can be toxic but the bulbs are particularly dangerous to pets
  • Tulips, amaryllis and hyacinth – Bulbs of these plants can also be dangerous when ingested
  • Rhodendendrons and azaleas – these shrubs are highly toxic to pets
  • Buttercups – these are mildly toxic causing salivation and vomiting
  • Grass blades – this is particularly a problem for cats who like to eat long grass. These blades are not toxic but can become stuck at the back of the throat and cause gagging and retching

Garden Products

Many chemicals and products we use in our garden can be toxic to pets.  Make sure you check the labels for information on how they can be safely used around animals or avoid them all together

  • Fertilisers – chemical fertilisers and more organic products such as cocoa mulches can be dangerous for pets
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Slug and snail pellets – those containing metaldehyde are highly toxic, rapidly leading to prolonged seizures

Creatures in the Environment

It is not just us and our pets that become more active in the Spring, there are many more creatures that enjoy the warmer weather

  • Wasps and Bees – these can sting curious pets, causing pain and swelling at the site of the sting. Occasionally pets can have allergic reactions to stings and will need treatment for this
  • Adders found in undergrowth in the countryside they are more likely to bite in Spring as they come out of hibernation
  • Slugs and snails – as intermediate hosts of lungworm these can be a disease risk for pets eating them or food contaminated by their trails. Prevention of lungworm in pets at risk requires a monthly treatment
  • Ticks – are most active in Autumn and Spring and easily picked up from long grass and undergrowth where deer or sheep graze. Make sure to regularly check your pet’s coat for ticks and keep up to date with preventative treatments

Breeding Season

Warmer weather brings on the start of the cat breeding season, although with central heating in our homes many cats can breed all year round.  To avoid unwanted litters of kittens make sure young females are neutered before they are allowed into the great outdoors.  Gatherings of cats can also lead to more injuries from fighting

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