With Spring comes warmer weather and brighter skys, colour returning to our fields and gardens with new flowers emerging from the soil and the gentle sound of bees and birds returning to our ears! However, it is important to remember that some of the things that we love about this time of year can be dangerous to our pets.
● Chocolate poisoning
Although this is one of the most well known poisonings we still see a large number of dogs that have eaten chocolate. It seems our pets are excellent at finding our secret chocolate stash and helping themselves! With Easter eggs, chocolate treats and cakes in abundance at this time of year it’s important to make sure they are kept well out of reach of our pets. The amount of chocolate that is poisonous varies depending on the size of your dog and the type of chocolate they have eaten, so it is vital that you call your vet as soon as you realise they have eaten any.
● Raisin poisoning
Hot Cross Buns are a favourite for many in Spring, but it is important to remember that they contain raisins and sultanas which are poisonous to our pets. They can cause kidney failure and unfortunately there is no known safe dose, so it is important to contact your vet if your pet has eaten any amount.
● Xylitol toxicity
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in some sweets and cakes. It is extremely toxic to our pets and even small amounts can cause a fatal drop in blood sugar levels. We recommend all of the sweet treats being kept well out of reach, and ideally consumed quickly by family and friends!
● Lily plants
It is traditional to give Lilies as gifts at Easter time, but before sending a beautiful bouquet to a friend, consider if they have a cat at home. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats and cause kidney failure. Even a small amount can cause a problem, which means that even if they brush against a flower and then groom off the pollen from their fur they can become unwell.
The great outdoors…
● Plant bulbs
Lots of bulbs are toxic if eaten, most will cause tummy upsets but some can be more serious. While we all want to have beautiful gardens it’s important that while planting you keep bulbs well away from your pets, and if you have a dog that likes digging make sure the areas are fenced off.
● Slug pellets
We often want to protect our veggies and flowers from these annoying pets, however slug pellets can be extremely dangerous to our pets. If eaten they can cause seizures that can be fatal. These products can also be fatal to wildlife if eaten. This is why slug pellets that contain metaldehyde are illegal to sell and use from 1st April 2022. So if you have any old packets in your shed do not use them!
● Bees and wasp stings
With the warm weather and new flowers come the increase of bees and wasps. Our pets are often fascinated with these flying insects and unfortunately stings are not that uncommon. Just like in people some pets have a minimal or mild reaction, whereas others can have a very severe one. We recommend contacting your vet if your pet has been stung, especially if it is on their face or mouth.
For many, Spring marks the start of BBQ season! While we are all aware of BBQ safety when it comes to us and our children it is important to remember our pets too! The smell of delicious treats can sometimes be too much to resist and if stolen and eaten many BBQ favourites can be dangerous - kebab skewers, bones and corn on the cob can cause serious problems if eaten. BBQs can also remain hot for hours after cooking has stopped, so it is important to make sure that they cannot be knocked over by bouncy dogs, or jumped onto by curious cats!