Dog owners, look out for these 4 things during spring

Posted by Matt Sadler

After the long dark winter, it’s wonderful to have longer days, brighter skies and warmer weather. However, this long-awaited change in season can pose some risks to our dogs. 

We’ve pulled together four pieces of advice from our Canine Healthcare Team to help you have a blooming marvellous time with your furry friend this spring. 

If you think your dog has eaten or drunk something they shouldn’t have, contact your vet immediately for advice. Remember to always consult your vet for advice tailored to your dog’s individual needs. 

A black cockapoo puppy is running through the grass with daffodils in the background

Human food hazards 

For many, spring means the sweet smell of hot cross buns wafting through the air and tucking in to a hearty roast dinner and an Easter egg (or two!). 

Unfortunately, some of these favourite foods can be poisonous for our canine friends: 

Chocolate Easter eggs – Theobromine found in chocolate is toxic to dogs, as is the artificial sweetener Xylitol that’s found in some chocolates 

Sunday roasts – Cooked animal bones are very dangerous as they can cause perforation of a dog’s gut. Also, onion, garlic and chives that can feature in our favourite roasts are toxic 

Hot cross buns – Grapes and raisins in hot cross buns are toxic and human treats are generally not good for our canine friends. 

These aren’t the only foods that are toxic to dogs; we recommend doing your research and keeping a handy reminder list on the fridge. 

Tip: Why not have fun making a homemade dog treat, such as our bunny dog biscuits? 

The great outdoors 

Nothing beats strolling amongst the bees and flowers during springtime. However, there are extra things to consider when going for dog walks at this time of year: 

Livestock – Dogs can be tempted to chase livestock such sheep, who may be pregnant this time of year, and baby animals, such as lambs. This can pose risks both to the farmer’s livestock and to your dog. Always keep your dog on lead around livestock, even if they usually have good recall 

Poisonous plants – Some spring plants including daffodils, tulips, bluebells and rhododendrons can be toxic to dogs. Make sure you stick to designated paths and keep your dog away from plants if you’re unsure 

Protecting baby animals – Dogs can also be drawn to chasing baby foxes, deer, rabbits and birds and so should be kept away from them. Stick to designated walking paths and keep your dog on lead where there is the potential for wildlife

Recall – Changes in the spring environment, including longer grass, animal nests and baby animals, can make dogs more distracted on walks. So, it’s a good idea to make sure your dog’s recall is strong before exploring the outdoors 

Allergies – Our four-legged friends can also get seasonal allergies. Look out for any itching, watery eyes and sneezing and speak to your vet who will be able to provide advice. 

Tip: Remember, if your dog is distracted, choosing to come back when called is hard work for them! Take the time to let them know it was a great choice by rewarding them with a treat, a favourite toy or a cuddle. 

Household cleaning chemicals 

Spring is a great time to spruce up at home, but some household cleaning products, including drain cleaner and bleach, can be dangerous to dogs. 

Toilet cleaning –If you’re using chemicals in your toilet, make sure to close the lid to keep your dog from drinking from it 

Mop buckets – Always empty and rinse mop buckets after use to remove chemical residue 

Pet safe products – Consider making a swap to pet safe cleaning products to minimise risks for your furry friend. 

If your dog has come into contact with a chemical they shouldn’t have, contact their vet right away. 

Tip: If your clever dog knows how to open the cleaning cupboard, pop a childproof lock on it! 

Finally…ticks and fleas  

It’s not only baby chicks who appear during spring…unfortunately ticks and fleas do too! Make sure your dog’s preventative treatments are up to date during spring and check their fur regularly, particularly after walks. 

Tip: Vacuuming at home and washing your dog’s bedding regularly can also help to reduce the risk of fleas. 

We wish you and your dog a fun and safe springtime! 

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About the author

blog hearing dogs

Hi everyone, I'm Matt and I look after the Charity's social media, blog and e-newsletter.

I spend a lot of my day talking about our hearing dog superstars - it's a hard life!

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