Spring in their step
Spring is a glorious time of year, and there's no better way to enjoy it than being outdoors with your pet. Following on from our first blog about spring-cleaning for you and your pet, here we remind you of the importance of lifestyle changes and springtime dangers to be aware of.
Just as you pack away the winter wardrobe, and lay off the gloves and hats, your pets have lifestyle changes too, to accommodate the change in seasons. Give your pet a good old groom to get rid of any winter coat, mats and dead undercoat. Grooming not only gives pets their 'spring outfit', it has really important health benefits too. Brushing your pet removes dirt, grease, dead hair and skin flakes, and stimulates circulation - for cats, you can minimise hairballs by removing as much loose hair as possible when grooming, and for dogs, some longhaired breeds may be more comfortable with a shorter coat in the warmer weather.
The advent of spring also brings with it certain health checks you should implement for your pet. Fleas, ticks and parasites come out with force at this time of year, so make sure that you take the necessary precautions to prevent them. A routine health check-up with the vet can be a good idea, especially if any vaccination boosters are needed.
Your garden may be your Eden in the spring and summer months, but it's important to be aware of certain household and garden plants and flowers that can be toxic to pets. Lilies are well known as a household danger, as they can cause kidney failure in cats. So although they may be your favourites, it's best to avoid them or at least place them out of reach. Some of the most common garden plants that can be toxic for your pet include tulips, snowdrops, lily of the valley, aconite, cyclamen, rhododendron, poinsettia and amaryllis.
For tips on caring for your rabbit and poisonous plants to be aware of, check the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund website. As rabbits can't vomit, it can be difficult to know if they've eaten something toxic, so it's worth being aware that anything grown from a bulb (tulips, crocuses, and daffodils for example) is poisonous to rabbits.
Similarly, if you have a pond make sure that your cat or dog doesn't get too excited by the fish and end up in the water - and if you have a rain butt keep it covered to avoid your four-legged friend falling in. Fertilisers, slug pellets and pesticides can be dangerous for your pets, so be careful when using them.
Do you have any tips for looking after your pet in the spring? What precautions do you take at this time of year?