Kennett Square vetApril showers, May flowers, Easter hats, and sunshine – we welcome SPRING! We know you are as anxious to spend time outside as we are, but please take these simple precautions to protect your pets before donning your sun hat and garden gloves!

1. Easter
Keep lilies and candy out of reach—chocolate may be toxic if ingested in large enough quantities, and certain types of lilies are often fatal if ingested by cats. Be mindful of the fact that kitties love to nibble on colorful plastic grass, which could lead to an intestinal obstruction. Finally, take pause and do your research before purchasing bunnies or chicks as a gift. They are adorable, but require special care!

2. Screen Doors/ Windows
Many pet owners welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk. Cats, in particular, may jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows.

3. Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households. Be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ reach. Almost all cleaning products, even all natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets.

4. Gardening
Fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products out-of-reach of your pet. Also, many popular springtime plants, including rhododendron and azaleas, are highly toxic to pets and often prove fatal if eaten.

5. Fleas/ Ticks
April showers bring May flowers — and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm and flea/tick preventatives. There are many affordable and convenient options, discuss them with your Longwood Vet today!

6. Breeding
Spring is the mating season! According to the ASPCA, 2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year. It is very important to spay or neuter your pet to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

7. Puddle Protection
April showers bring lots of puddles! Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection spread by infected wildlife that can lead to severe kidney and liver damage, may be transmitted through puddles or other bodies of water. There is an effective vaccine against Leptospirosis.

We hope these helpful hints prepare you for this wonderful time of year. Check them off your list and then enjoy. You and your pet will benefit from the fresh sunshine!

Written By: Tara Corridori, LVT
Edited By: Dr. Corrina Parsons, VMD
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