March 20th is officially the first day of spring! Although the changing seasons can mean so many great things (more time outside, longer days, warmer temperatures, and new life sprouting up), it can also pose some hazards for your pup! Keep reading to find out what to watch out for as the temp starts to rise…
Fungi can crop up in the spring months in your backyard or local park. A number of wild mushroom varieties are toxic to dogs. They can cause a range of symptoms from gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhea) to neurological symptoms to organ failure and even death. Dogs gather information about the world through taste and smell, and the unique texture of fungi can be especially appealing. There are so many different varieties of mushrooms out there, so it is best not to try to self-identify the variety in your yard. If your pup ingests any sort of wild mushroom, take them to the vet to be safe (it never hurts to bring along a sample of the mushroom too).
Plant life isn’t the only thing coming back to life come spring - creepy crawlies such as fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites also wake up. Did you know that ticks become active from hibernation at between a mere 0 to 4 degrees Celsius? Speak with your vet about what sort of preventative you’re comfortable using and have a plan in place before pesky parasites find their way onto your dog. With climate change, ticks have become more prevalent so it’s smart to check your pup thoroughly after being outside when it’s above 4 degrees.
When the long months of winter thaw out, your dog is likely to be as excited as you to see green grass springing up. They may be tempted to chew on some fresh blades of green, but pesticides and fertilizers can be toxic, and you never know what your neighbours may be treating their lawn with. Slug and snail deterrent can be dangerous as well especially if it contains Metaldehyde. Symptoms of poisoning can appear within an hour of ingestion and include gastrointestinal upset, tremors or seizures, panting, anxiety, wobbly gait, and hyperthermia. Metaldehyde poisoning can cause organ failure, and worse...
One of the best parts of spring is the blooming flowers! Although lovely to look at, some of these can pose a problem should your dog decide to nibble on them. Among the most toxic are:
As the snow melts, you and your dog may discover some hidden “treasures” in your yard. Many people think that sticks are a great natural chew toy, but they can actually be dangerous! They can splinter and cause blockages in the intestinal tract, cut their mouths, and even cause a choking hazard or impalement. There are many dog safe chew toys that you can use for outdoor enrichment instead.
We’re so excited for the warmer weather, and we’re sure you are too! Let us know what you and your pup are doing to enjoy spring while staying safe by reaching out on our instagram @healthybudco!
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay curious #healthygang!
Lots of love,
-The healthybud team