Spring Pet Safety and Poison Control Tips to Protect Old Town Dogs and Cats

The spring season is finally coming into its own, which means it’s also time to think about pet poison control and keeping your dog safe on walks and at the local dog park here in Old Town. Springtime hazards can creep up when you least expect them, so it’s important to know what kind of health threats your pet is liable to face, and how to protect them from those threats.

cat sitting next to colorful flowers

Pet Poison Control

There are all kinds of poisons and toxins out there that can inflict serious harm on your pet. Dogs and cats, especially those that often wander around outside, are at a higher risk for ingesting dangerous objects or substances, including:

jack russell dog catching frisbee

Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that affects dogs. This disease can often be picked up by pets that walk through or drink from puddles or ponds. Standing water and damp soil are likely to contain urine from infected animals, including other dogs, rats, mice, deer, rabbits, raccoons, and skunks. The bacteria can enter the body via ingestion, inhalation, or exposure to a cut or scape on the skin. Being a zoonotic disease, it can also be spread from animals to people.

Dogs with leptospirosis can be treated, but may end up with permanent damage to their liver and kidneys. Signs of infection can include fever, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice.

Dog Parks
Dog parks can also increase your pet’s risk of exposure to leptospirosis, in addition to other illnesses. Make sure your pet receives the proper vaccinations before visiting the dog park (there are typically health requirements for dogs before they are allowed to visit the park and mingle with other dogs). Let us know if you have questions! While all dogs are supposed to be vaccinated and healthy, this is no guarantee that your pet is 100% safe from infection.

Rodenticides
Rat poison is deadly if ingested, especially for smaller dogs and cats. Once the snow has melted, check around your house or apartment building for any poison pellets and dispose of them right away.
If you and your dog are walking around the neighborhood, keep your eyes peeled for anything unusual lying on the ground and make sure you have control of your pet. Don’t let them start chewing on anything they find.

Plants, Flowers, and Mushrooms
While we would imagine that most dogs and cats will not attempt to eat any plants or flowers you have in and around your home, the risk is still there. True lilies, including Easter lilies, Tiger lilies, and Daylilies are all highly poisonous to cats and can be deadly if ingested in any way.

Other plants to keep out of your pet’s reach include:

  • Azaleas
  • Amaryllis
  • Oleander
  • Sago palm (mostly found in warmer climates)
  • Poison ivy, sumac, and oak
  • Daffodils
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Tulip bulbs

Wild mushrooms can also spell trouble for your pet, just as they can for humans. Remove any mushrooms you find growing in your yard or anywhere else within your pet’s reach and dispose of them immediately.
For more information about poisonous plants, you can give us a call or visit petpoisonhelpline.com.

kitten smelling violet flower

Cleaning Solutions
Spring cleaning is practically a national pastime, but a lot of different household cleaners can be dangerous if our pets get into them. Close and store containers and bottles responsibly; never leave cleaning agents, sponges, or clothes laying around where your pet can reach them. If necessary, shut your pet out of the room in which you’re cleaning to ensure your pet’s safety.
For added protection, you can look into purchasing pet-friendly cleaning products. For a list of recommended cleaners, go here.