PDSA is the UK’s largest veterinary charity, with a mission to improve the well-being of pets through prevention, education and treatment. Support from People’s Postcode Lottery players helps us reach more pet owners with vital tips and information.
PDSA Veterinary Nurse Nina Downing said: “Being outdoors has many physical and mental health benefits for both humans and four-legged friends, but it’s important to remember to keep our precious pets safe from any hidden dangers the new season may bring.
Curious by nature. “Our pets are curious creatures, often eager to explore plants and trees, but some can be toxic, or even fatal, if eaten. Whatever the season, it’s important to be aware of the hidden dangers that some of the beautiful new blooms can pose to members of our four-legged family. Types to watch out for in spring include azaleas, daffodils, hyacinths, cotoneasters, geraniums, tulips, and irises.
“For avid gardeners, setting up fencing will help deter your four-legged friend from areas with lots of plants and bulbs, but be sure to continue to keep a close eye on him while he’s outside. If you see your pet eating a potentially dangerous plant, or suddenly feel unwell after being in the garden, contact your veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Safe spring cleaning. “As well as enjoying the changes in the great outdoors, you may also want to do a general cleaning of your home, but it’s important to keep your four-legged friends away from any toxic products.
Many household cleaning products, such as bleach, oven cleaner, dishwashing tablets, and laundry detergent, can be very dangerous for our pets: harsh chemicals can cause paw burns and can even be fatal if they are ingested.
The good news is that there are many pet-safe alternatives that are also better for the environment, including baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice; using them will help you create a bright and fresh interior, without any danger to your furry friend. .
“If you use stronger products, it is essential to follow the directions and dilute where necessary.
Clean floors and surfaces with fresh water after using chemicals to ensure your pet can walk safely, and don’t forget to empty mop buckets as soon as you’re done.
Be sure to store products out of reach: If your pet has mastered the art of opening door handles, it’s worth installing a childproof lock on your cleaning cupboard!
Stay away from Easter treats
“Humans aren’t the only ones who are tempted by a chocolate treat or a hot cross bun – our pets can smell them even when they’re hidden in the packaging. Having chocolate in the house can pose a real danger to our precious pets: it contains a substance called theobromine, which can be a life-threatening substance for animals if animals consume chocolate.”
Nina Downing, PDSA Veterinary Nurse, Answers All Your Pet Questions
Dear PDSA Vet, My dog started licking her leg a lot and she looks very sore, her fur also started to fall off. How I can help her? Amrita
Dear Amrita, First of all, make an appointment with your vet who can check the sore area for underlying problems or infections.
Problems like this can be caused by an insect bite, scratch or other skin irritation – when your dog licks the area, it becomes even more sore and inflamed and can lead to infection, which means your dog wants to lick even more .
This creates a vicious cycle, so you need to break that behavioral loop – your vet can prescribe a treatment to help. Until you can get to the vet, I recommend that you prevent your dog from licking the sore skin by using a cone or collar so he can’t reach in and gently bathe the area with cooled, previously boiled water.
Dear PDSA Veterinarian, how much exercise does my dog need? Is it better to take one long walk a day or several shorter ones? Shelby
Dear Shelby, Exercise is essential to maintaining a dog’s overall health and well-being.
Daily walks are a vital part of your four-legged friend’s routine, as they not only get your pup moving, but being outdoors stimulates their brain, not to mention it’s a great way to relieve stress.
The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on his breed, age, and general health. However, just like humans, each dog is unique and may have different preferences over others of the same breed or different health considerations. Most dogs will need at least two walks a day, for those that struggle with exercise, shorter, more frequent walks will be better.
Dear PDSA Vet, My vet recently prescribed some tablets for my cat, but he just won’t take them. I tried to disguise them with his food, but he spits them right out. How can I get him to take them? Daniela
Dear Danielle, giving our pets tablets is often easier said than done.
Ask your veterinarian if the tablets can be given crushed in the food; some tablets cannot or should not be taken on an empty stomach. When mixing with food, mix only a small amount and smell bad, to mask the odor of the tablets.
Take before your main meal, when you are hungry; make sure he eats all of it to get the full dose. It is really important to complete any cycle of medication and follow the instructions to ensure it works properly. This helpful video shows how to medicate your cat, alternatively your vet can advise you on an alternative, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/givingyourpetatablet.
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