Springtime is one of my favorite times of the year. While living in Vermont for 30 years, I always looked forward to longer days, warm sunshine and sugaring season. Now that I am in North Carolina part of the year, I just love watching the flowers bloom so early in the year. The daffodils are already up, apple blossoms are blooming and the azaleas are right around the corner.
Along with these lovely gifts from nature unfortunately come hazards for our pets. As a natural animal healer, I’d like to share a list of things around our homes in the spring that are potentially harmful to your pets. I also share a natural and holistic remedy to use in case your pet ingests any of these.
Chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs and gold coins are common around this time of the year. As you probably already know, chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats and can be fatal if they ingest a large amount. But when panic sets in as you see the gold foil wrappers on the floor and the guilty look on your dog’s face, it can be hard to remember which chocolate is worse and how much can make him sick.
Here are some rules of thumb.
– The darker the chocolate the more harmful.
– The smaller your pet the less they need to ingest to be poisoned.
– The longer it’s been since they ate the chocolate, the faster you must get help.
Also, many people are unaware that chocolate mulch is also harmful if ingested, so beware of what kind of mulch your neighbors use in their gardens.
As beautiful as they are, Easter lilies are highly toxic, especially to cats. If ingested it’s important to act quickly. Another springtime favorite, daffodils are toxic as well.
Lawn Fertilizer, Weed Killers and Insect Repellents
Who doesn’t love a plush green lawn during warmer months? Unfortunately, the use of chemical fertilizers and weed killers is all too common. If you or your neighbors use chemicals in and around your home or on your pets (I highly recommend you find natural alternatives) you’ll notice the warning labels that recommend you don’t get them on your skin or in your eyes. Why would anyone let their pets come in contact with them? But when you walk your dog in the grass after it has been sprayed this is exactly what happens. Cats absorb anything that comes in contact with their fur through their hair follicles and while grooming. Dogs will often lick their feet after a walk. And horses are subject to inhaling airborne chemicals since they are outside 24/7.
Eliminating the use of these toxic chemicals is the best way to avoid poisoning your pet. Even if your pet doesn’t show signs of poisoning, prolonged exposure over time can result in illness and disease that may take years to manifest.
What to Do if Your Pet Ingests Springtime Hazards
Time is of the essence when your pet has eaten something toxic. If you know they have done so within the prior 20 minutes, the best thing to do is to induce vomiting.
NOTE: If your pet has ingested a caustic substance, such as bleach, glue, fertilizer, laundry detergent, sidewalk salt or nail polish remover, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Call your Vet immediately.
I remember when my dog, Spirit ate a brick of rodent poison when she was a puppy. It was so scary. Fortunately I remembered what to do to make her vomit. Once she did I took her to our vet to be safe. He was pleased at my fast action and gave her fluids and vitamins to support her system, just in case any residual poison was in her system.
Here’s what you can to if you face the same situation as I did. To induce vomiting, give your pet 3% hydrogen peroxide. For small pets, 1 teaspoon at a time should be enough. For larger pets, 1 tablespoon every 5 minutes until they vomit, but no more than 3 tablespoons. A 5 ml syringe, which equals 1 teaspoon is the best way to administer the peroxide.
If it has been more than 20 minutes since your pet has eaten something toxic, if you don’t know what they ate, or if they have diarrhea and/or tremors seek veterinary medical help immediately.
Horses rarely vomit so inducing vomiting should not be attempted. If you think your horse has ingested something toxic seek help from your equine veterinarian immediately.
Has your pet ever eaten something they shouldn’t? What did you do for their immediate care?
If you still aren’t sure what to do or don’t feel confident enough to carry out this important first aid, I offer classes and coaching for pet parents. They are filled with easy and practical tips on natural ways of caring for their pets, including first aid remedies to have on hand and how to use them Email me today for more info.
Lots of love,