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16 Spring Pet Safety Tips for Canadians

As the days lengthen and flowers bloom, spring brings a sense of renewal and joy. But for pet owners, the warmer weather also comes with unique challenges and considerations.

With allergens swirling in the air, insects buzzing around, and parasites lurking in the grass, it’s crucial to be mindful of the potential hazards that can affect our furry friends.

Whether you have a playful pup, a curious cat, or any other beloved companion, understanding the seasonal changes can help you keep them safe and healthy.

In this blog, we’ll explore 16 essential spring pet safety tips to ensure your four-legged friend enjoys the season to the fullest.

1. Avoid Unfamiliar Plants

Spring brings a burst of color to our gardens, but not all plants are pet-friendly. Some can be downright dangerous if your furry friend decides to take a bite. Here’s a look at plants you should keep away from your pets and some tips on how to prevent accidents.

  • Lilies: Extremely toxic to cats. Even a small amount can cause serious kidney issues. Dogs are less affected but can still experience stomach upset.

  • Azaleas: Part of the Rhododendron family, azaleas can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and heart problems in dogs and cats.

  • Tulips: The bulb of the tulip is particularly toxic to pets, leading to oral irritation, drooling, and even central nervous system depression.

  • Sago Palm: All parts of this plant are poisonous, but the seeds are the most toxic. Ingestion can cause vomiting, seizures, and liver failure in dogs and cats.

  • Foxglove: Beautiful but deadly, foxgloves can affect the heart, leading to symptoms like drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and cardiac failure.

  • Oleander: Even a small amount of oleander can be lethal, causing severe vomiting, heart issues, and possibly death.

  • Autumn Crocus: Ingestion can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure.

Prevention Tips:

1. Educate Yourself: Familiarize yourself with the toxic plants common to your region. The ASPCA provides a comprehensive list of plants that are toxic to pets.

2. Pet-Proof Your Garden: Choose pet-safe plants for your garden. If you already have toxic plants, consider removing them or ensure they are completely inaccessible to your pets.

3. Supervise Outdoor Time: Always watch your pets when they’re outside, especially if they’re curious nibblers. Teaching them commands like “leave it” can also help avoid ingestion of harmful plants.

4. React Quickly: If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic plant, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately. Quick action can save lives.

While planning your garden, remember to check the ASPCA’s list of non-toxic plants, and if you’re unsure about a plant’s safety, feel free to ask us at The Bone & Biscuit. We’re here to share knowledge that can help keep your furry friends safe.

2. Inspect Your Dog’s Collar And Tags

Your dog’s collar and tags are their ticket home if they ever get lost. With the spring season encouraging more outdoor adventures, ensuring your dog’s collar is secure and their tags are up-to-date is crucial. Here’s how to make sure they’re ready for all your spring outings:

  • Check the Collar Regularly: Look for signs of wear and tear on your dog’s collar. A worn-out collar might break, increasing the risk of your dog getting lost during outdoor activities. Make sure the collar fits well—not too tight, not too loose.
  • Update ID Tags: Verify that the information on your dog’s ID tags is current. Include your phone number and any other contact information that could help someone return your dog if they wander off.
  • Consider a Microchip: While collars and tags are essential, they can come off. A microchip is a permanent form of identification. If your pet is already microchipped, check that your contact information is up to date in the microchip registry.
  • Reflective and Lighted Collars: If you enjoy early morning or late evening walks, consider getting a reflective or lighted collar to make your dog more visible to others, enhancing their safety.

Spring adventures call for secure and stylish gear. Find the perfect fit for your pet with The Bone & Biscuit’s range of durable collars and tags. Plus, ask us about reflective and lighted options for those evening walks.

3. Mitigate Seasonal Allergies

Just like us, pets can suffer from seasonal allergies. These allergies can cause symptoms like itching, sneezing, and discomfort. Here’s how to help your pet deal with seasonal allergies during the spring:

  • Identify the Signs: Keep an eye out for symptoms of allergies in your pets, such as excessive scratching, licking, biting their skin, sneezing, runny eyes, or even ear infections. These could indicate that your pet is reacting to something in their environment.
  • Keep Indoors When Pollen Counts Are High: On days when the pollen count is particularly high, try to keep your pets indoors as much as possible. This can help reduce their exposure to allergens.
  • Regular Baths and Grooming: Regular baths can help remove allergens from your pet’s fur and skin. Use a hypoallergenic shampoo or one recommended by your vet. Regular grooming, especially for pets with long hair, can also help keep allergens at bay.
  • Air Purifiers: Consider using an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your home. These can help remove pollen, dust, and other allergens from the air, making your home more comfortable for pets with allergies.
  • Diet and Supplements: Some pets might benefit from a diet change or supplements that boost their skin health and immune system.

By taking these steps, you can help your pet enjoy springtime with fewer allergy symptoms, making the season more enjoyable for both of you.

4. Banish Fleas and Ticks

Springtime warmth isn’t just great for us and our pets; it also brings out fleas and ticks. These pesky parasites can cause a range of health issues, from minor irritations to serious diseases. Here’s how you can protect your furry friends:

  • Year-round Prevention: Don’t wait for spring to start flea and tick prevention. These parasites can survive indoors during winter, so it’s wise to use prevention products year-round.
  • Regular Checks: After any outdoor adventure, check your pet for ticks and fleas. Pay special attention to hidden spots like under the collar, behind the ears, and between the toes. A fine-toothed comb can help you spot and remove fleas.
  • Keep It Clean: Regularly wash your pet’s bedding, plush toys, and any fabric they spend time on. Hot water is best. Vacuum your home frequently, focusing on carpets, rugs, and furniture where fleas and ticks could hide.
  • Natural Repellents: For those who prefer natural options, certain essential oils (like lavender and cedarwood) can repel fleas and ticks. However, always dilute them properly and check with your vet first, as some oils can be toxic to pets.
  • Treat Your Yard: Your garden or yard might be a haven for fleas and ticks. Mowing the lawn regularly, removing tall weeds, and treating the yard with pet-safe products can reduce the risk of your pet picking up these unwanted hitchhikers.
  • Be Proactive: If you find a tick on your pet, remove it promptly with tweezers, pulling straight out to ensure the entire tick is removed. If you’re dealing with a flea infestation, consult your vet about the best course of action, which may include treating your home and all pets in the household.

Don’t let pests ruin the fun. The Bone & Biscuit carries a variety of top-rated flea and tick prevention products. Stop by to find the best solution for your pet, including natural and chemical-free options.

5. Clean Your Yard

A clean and well-maintained yard not only looks great but also keeps your pets safe from various outdoor hazards. As the snow melts and reveals what’s been hiding underneath, it’s time to tidy up. Here’s how to ensure your yard is a safe play space for your pets this spring:

  • Remove Debris: Winter can leave behind branches, trash, and other debris that can be dangerous for pets. Clear these away to prevent injuries from sharp objects and reduce hiding spots for pests like ticks.
  • Standing Water: Mosquitoes, which can carry diseases like heartworm, breed in standing water. Eliminate any areas of stagnant water in pots, tarps, or anywhere else in your yard to cut down on mosquito populations.
  • Trim Plants and Grass: Tall grass and dense shrubs are perfect hiding spots for pests. Keeping your lawn mowed and your plants trimmed helps reduce the risk of your pet picking up fleas, ticks, or other unwelcome guests.
  • Secure Trash and Compost: Pets can be tempted by the smell of garbage and compost, which might contain food scraps, bones, or other items that are harmful if ingested. Make sure your trash cans and compost bins are securely closed to keep pets out.
  • Check for Toxic Plants: Now’s a good time to remove or fence off plants that are toxic to pets. If you’re unsure about a plant, check a reliable source or ask your vet.
  • Fence Repairs: Check your fence for any damage caused by winter storms. Repairing gaps and weak spots can prevent your pet from escaping and encountering dangers outside your yard.
  • Chemical-Free Lawn Care: If you use products on your lawn or garden, opt for pet-friendly options. Fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides can be toxic to pets if ingested or even if they come into contact with their paws.

By taking a little time to clean and maintain your yard, you can create a safer environment for your pets to enjoy the outdoors this spring.

6. Clean Your Home

Spring cleaning is not just about making your home look fresh; it’s also about ensuring it’s safe for your pets. Pets are curious and often explore with their mouths, which means they can get into things they shouldn’t. Here’s how to clean your home in a pet-friendly way this spring:

  • Declutter: Pets, especially puppies and kittens, can chew on just about anything. Keep small items like toys, batteries, and medication out of reach. Secure wires and cords that could be tempting to chew.
  • Pet-Safe Cleaning Products: Many common cleaning products contain chemicals that can harm pets if they’re ingested or even if they come in contact with their skin. Look for cleaning solutions labeled as pet-safe. Natural alternatives, like vinegar and baking soda, can be effective for many cleaning tasks and are safer for pets.
  • Frequent Vacuuming and Dusting: Pets shed fur and dander, which can collect dust and other allergens. Regular vacuuming and dusting can help keep the air clean for you and your pets. Pay extra attention to the areas where your pets spend the most time.
  • Wash Pet Bedding and Toys: Just like your bedding collects dust and allergens, so does your pet’s. Wash their bedding, blankets, and any washable toys in hot water regularly to kill fleas and remove allergens.
  • Air Quality: Consider using an air purifier to help remove pet dander, pollen, and other allergens from the air. This can be especially helpful for pets with allergies.
  • Check for Hazards: Spring cleaning is a good time to check your home for potential hazards. Look for and secure anything that could fall over, small spaces where pets could get stuck, or any toxic substances that should be kept out of reach.
  • Secure Windows and Screens: With warmer weather, you might be tempted to open windows. Make sure screens are secure to prevent adventurous pets from getting out or getting hurt by falling.

As you tackle spring cleaning, remember the importance of a clean environment for your pet’s health. While we focus on providing the best in nutrition and care essentials at Bone & Biscuit, we also recommend using natural cleaning methods around your pets. Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are pet-friendly options that can keep your home sparkling and safe.

7. Avoid Toxic Substances During Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is a chance to refresh your home, but it’s important to keep it safe for your pets. Many cleaning products contain chemicals that could be harmful to them if ingested or inhaled. Here’s how to ensure your cleaning doesn’t put your pets at risk:

  • Choose Pet-Safe Products: Nowadays, there are plenty of cleaning products labeled as safe for pets. These products avoid harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to your furry friends. Make a habit of reading labels and choosing cleaners that are specifically designed to be non-toxic to animals.
  • Natural Alternatives: For a lot of cleaning tasks, simple ingredients you likely already have at home can be just as effective as commercial products without the risk to your pets. Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice can tackle many cleaning jobs from deodorizing to disinfecting surfaces. They’re safe for use around pets and are eco-friendly too.
  • Ventilation is Key: When you’re cleaning, especially with any product that could release fumes, make sure the area is well-ventilated. Open windows and doors or use fans to circulate fresh air. This helps disperse any airborne chemicals faster, reducing the risk for your pets.
  • Store Products Safely: After cleaning, store all products out of reach of curious noses and paws. Pets can accidentally ingest cleaning products by chewing on bottles or licking surfaces that have not fully dried.
  • Wet Surfaces: Keep pets away from areas that have been recently cleaned until they are completely dry. This is especially important for floor cleaners, as pets walking over wet floors can absorb chemicals through their paw pads or lick them off later.
  • Immediate Access: If you’re using a product that’s necessary but not completely pet-friendly, consider temporarily relocating your pets to a safe area until the cleaning is done and the area is safe again.
  • Emergency Plan: Always have the number for your vet and the Pet Poison Helpline handy. If your pet does ingest something they shouldn’t have, immediate action can make all the difference.

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a hazard for your pets. With some precautions and the right products, you can keep your home clean and your pets safe and healthy.

8. Vaccinate

Keeping your pet’s vaccinations up to date is crucial for their health and well-being, especially as they spend more time outdoors in the spring. Vaccines protect pets from various diseases, some of which can be fatal. Here’s how to stay on top of vaccinations for your furry friend:

  • Consult Your Vet: Your veterinarian is your best resource for understanding which vaccinations are necessary for your pet. They can provide a schedule based on your pet’s age, lifestyle, and health status.
  • Keep a Record: Maintain an up-to-date record of your pet’s vaccinations. This is particularly important if you travel with your pet or if they stay at boarding facilities, as proof of vaccination may be required.
  • Outdoor Risks: Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors are at a higher risk for certain diseases. For example, vaccines against Lyme disease can be important for dogs in tick-prone areas. Discuss these risks with your vet.
  • Community Health: Vaccinating your pet also protects other pets and, in the case of rabies, even people. It’s part of being a responsible pet owner and community member.
  • Puppy and Kitten Care: Young animals have weaker immune systems and require a series of vaccinations in their first few months. If you’ve recently adopted a young pet, ensure they start their vaccinations on schedule.
  • Watch for Reactions: While rare, some pets may have reactions to vaccines. Monitor your pet after vaccination for any signs of discomfort, swelling at the injection site, or lethargy, and report these to your vet.

Vaccinations are a simple and effective way to protect your pets from common diseases. By keeping up with your pet’s vaccination schedule, you’re providing them with a healthy foundation to enjoy the spring season fully.

9. Prevent Heartworm

Heartworm disease is a serious condition that can lead to severe lung disease, heart failure, organ damage, and even death in pets, particularly dogs, cats, and ferrets. It’s transmitted by mosquitoes, making prevention especially important in the warmer months when mosquitoes are most active. Here’s how to protect your pet from heartworm:

  • Regular Testing: Even with preventive measures in place, annual testing for heartworm is crucial for dogs, and regular testing should be considered for cats. Early detection is key to managing and treating heartworm disease effectively.
  • Mosquito Control: Reducing your pet’s exposure to mosquitoes can help lower their risk of getting heartworms. This includes removing standing water where mosquitoes breed, using mosquito repellents (ensure they’re safe for pets), and keeping pets indoors during peak mosquito activity times, usually dawn and dusk.
  • Understanding the Risks: All pets are at risk for heartworm, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor pets. Mosquitoes can easily get inside homes, so even indoor pets are at risk.
  • Climate Matters: While heartworm is more prevalent in certain regions, such as the southeastern United States, it has been diagnosed in all 50 states. Changes in climate and the movement of infected animals can lead to outbreaks in areas previously considered low risk.
  • Follow Vet Instructions: Always give heartworm prevention medication exactly as prescribed by your vet. Missing doses can leave your pet unprotected. If you miss a dose, consult your vet about the best course of action.

Preventing heartworm disease is much easier and less expensive than treating it once it occurs. By taking these preventive steps, you can help ensure your pet enjoys a long, healthy life free from the threat of heartworm disease.

10. Secure Trash Bins

With warmer weather inviting more outdoor activities, it’s important to keep an eye on your trash bins. Pets are naturally curious and may rummage through trash looking for scraps, but garbage can contain harmful substances. Here’s how to keep your pets safe:

  • Keep Lids Closed: Make sure your trash bins have secure lids that pets can’t easily open. This will help prevent them from getting into the garbage and potentially ingesting something dangerous.
  • Use Locks or Straps: For added security, consider using locks or straps to keep the lids on your trash bins tightly sealed. This is especially useful if you have larger dogs that can knock over bins or open lids.
  • Store Bins Out of Reach: If possible, keep your trash bins in an area that your pets can’t access, such as a locked shed or garage.
  • Immediate Cleanup: After gatherings or meals, clean up any food waste immediately and securely dispose of it in a trash bin. Don’t leave garbage bags within reach while waiting to take them out.
  • Watch for Toxins: Be mindful of what you throw away. Foods that are toxic to pets, like chocolate, onions, and grapes, should be disposed of where pets can’t get to them. The same goes for hazardous chemicals or products.

Keeping your trash secured not only helps in maintaining a clean and safe environment for your pets but also prevents wildlife from being attracted to your property.

11. Be Cautious with Lawn Care Products

Many lawn care products, such as fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, can be toxic to pets. As you spruce up your garden this spring, here’s how to keep your furry friends safe:

  • Read Labels: Always check product labels for safety information and follow instructions carefully. Look for pet-safe products whenever possible.
  • Wait Time: After applying a product, wait the recommended amount of time before allowing pets back onto the lawn. This might vary, so it’s important to read the label.
  • Store Safely: Keep all lawn care products in a place where pets can’t access them.
  • Alternative Solutions: Consider using natural or organic alternatives to chemical lawn care products. They can be safer for pets and the environment.

Quick awareness and precautions can ensure your pets stay safe while you keep your lawn and garden looking great.

12. Watch Out for Open Windows

Spring’s warmer weather might tempt you to open windows, but it’s crucial to ensure your pets’ safety:

  • Secure Screens: Check that window screens are intact and securely in place to prevent pets from falling out.
  • Supervised Access: Only open windows wide enough for air but not wide enough for a pet to fit through, or supervise pets near open windows.
  • Safe Heights: Avoid opening windows wide at heights that could be dangerous if a pet jumps or falls out.

Keeping windows safely ajar lets you enjoy the breeze without risking your pet’s safety.

13. Beware of Open Water Sources

As temperatures rise, pets might be drawn to ponds, pools, and other water sources to cool off. Keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Supervise Closely: Always watch your pets when they’re near water, even if they’re good swimmers.
  • Secure Access: Fence off pools and ponds when not in use, or use covers to prevent unsupervised access.
  • Teach Swimming: Not all pets instinctively know how to swim well. Gradually introduce them to water if they’re unfamiliar.
  • Rinse Off: After swimming, rinse your pet to remove chlorine, salt, or bacteria from their fur.
  • Drinking Water: Ensure pets don’t drink from pools, ponds, or other stagnant water sources, which can contain harmful substances or bacteria.

With these precautions, you can help ensure your pet enjoys water safely during the warmer months.

14. Check for Hidden Pests

Springtime warmth wakes up not just the flowers, but also pests like snakes and spiders that might have been less active during the colder months. These creatures can pose risks to your curious pets. Here’s how to protect your furry friends:

  • Yard Inspection: Regularly check your yard, especially under rocks, within tall grasses, and near water sources, for hiding pests. Clear away any debris where snakes and spiders could shelter.
  • Pet Supervision: Keep an eye on your pets when they’re outside, especially in areas where you know pests are common.
  • Pest Control: Consider natural or pet-safe pest control methods to keep dangerous pests at bay without harming your pets.
  • Educate Yourself: Know the types of potentially dangerous pests in your area and their hiding spots. Learning about them can help you take better preventative measures.
  • First Aid Knowledge: Be aware of the signs of bites or stings in your pets, such as swelling, whimpering, or limping, and know the basics of first aid while you seek veterinary care.

By staying vigilant and proactive, you can minimize the risk of pest encounters and ensure your pets enjoy the spring safely.

15. Maintain a Comfortable Temperature


Spring weather can be unpredictable, swinging from warm days to cool nights. Here’s how to keep your pets comfortable:

  • Shade and Water: Make sure pets have access to shade and fresh water when outside to prevent overheating.
  • Indoor Comfort: Keep your home at a comfortable temperature for pets, especially during sudden warm spells.
  • Bedding: Provide a cozy bed in a draft-free area for cooler nights.

This way, your pets can enjoy spring’s changing moods safely and comfortably.

16. Provide Adequate Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Spring offers the perfect opportunity to increase outdoor activities with your pets, thanks to longer days and milder weather. Keeping your pets physically and mentally active is key to their well-being:

  • Regular Walks: Take advantage of the pleasant weather to go on longer walks or hikes. It’s great exercise and provides mental stimulation through new smells and sights.
  • Outdoor Games: Engage in outdoor games like fetch or frisbee. These activities can help burn off extra energy and keep your pet fit.
  • Training Sessions: Use this time to work on training or learning new tricks. It’s a fun way to strengthen your bond and keep your pet’s mind sharp.
  • Safe Socialization: If your pet enjoys the company of others, consider playdates or visits to a dog park for social interaction.

Spring brings the perfect opportunity for more outdoor fun and games. Discover our wide selection of toys and gear at The Bone & Biscuit to keep your pet active and mentally stimulated. From durable outdoor toys to engaging puzzle feeders, we’ve got what you need to make the most of the sunny days ahead.

Enjoy The Warmer Weather Safely!

As we wrap up our guide on keeping your pets safe and happy this spring, remember that a little preparation and awareness can go a long way. From securing your home and garden to ensuring your pets are healthy and protected from pests and diseases, each step contributes to a joyful and vibrant season for you and your furry friends.

Here are a few final tips to make the most of this beautiful time of year:

  • Stay Informed: Keep up with local wildlife and plant advisories in your area to protect your pets from new threats.
  • Visit Us: Swing by your nearest Bone and Biscuit location for all your spring pet care needs. Whether you’re looking for natural pet foods, supplements, or the latest in pet-friendly outdoor gear, we’re here to help.
  • Share Your Stories: We love hearing about your adventures! Share your springtime pet photos and stories with us on social media. Let’s celebrate the season together.

Spring is a time of renewal and joy. By taking the right precautions, you and your pets can fully enjoy everything this season has to offer. Here’s to warm days, cool nights, and happy, healthy pets!

See you at The Bone and Biscuit!


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