We’ve waited so long for it. The winter seems to have dragged like a corpse and we’re still wearing our winter coats and scarves. But there is no denying the fact that the sun is shining, the daffs are out, springtime is eventually here! Since we’re faced with such beautiful (albeit cold) days, it’s even more tempting to get out there with your mutts and explore the countryside, or go further afield to new dog walking territory. It’s important to keep aware of those springtime hazards though, of which there are plenty – believe it or not! Here are just a few of the potential pitfalls this time of year can bring to your sunny walks, so take heed!
Dogs love a stick, don’t they? There’s nothing quite like running after a lobbed stick from a human. It kind of goes with dog territory. Dog = sticks, right? Well – the advice here is to stay vigilant around sticks – apparently, throwing a stick could seriously harm or even kill your dog. Pieces of the stick can become lodged in the dog’s throat causing choking, or cause nasty injuries to the dog’s mouth. This could be a lot of scaremongering, but it’s always good to know the facts.
Be extra careful of what your dog is eating whilst out on a walk. Many dogs like to eat grass to settle their stomachs, and let’s face it, dogs will eat pretty much anything, right? Be aware that some springtime plants and flowers can cause sickness and diarrhoea and sometimes even death if ingested. Get clued up by reading a guide to toxic and non-toxic plants to stay in control of your dog’s wellbeing.
Anyone partial to a spring clean? All that sunshine pouring in through your windows just illuminates the layers of dust accumulated over the winter. Well, that’s certainly the case for me. If the springtime is a trigger for you to get your mops and buckets out, do look at the packaging on your cleaning products. I’ve never noticed before, but apparently bottles of cleaning fluid should state whether or not they are dog-safe on the packaging. Worth having a look before the house is saturated with chemicals that could make your dog poorly. If your dog does ingest any cleaning fluids and takes a turn for the worse, the advice is to seek medical attention from your vet as soon as possible.
Just like us humans, dogs can also suffer from seasonal allergies such as hay fever. Plants such as ragwort and nasties in the environment around them, such as dust mites, can also give your pooch the hump. Unlike in us, allergies found in the air usually manifest themselves as skin irritations in dogs, whereas humans tend to suffer from the typical runny nose, sneezing etc. Something to look out for and to seek advice from the vet if any odd skin patches occur. Also, now is a great time to treat your dog for fleas and ticks ahead of the summer. It’s best to keep on top of this all year round though.
So! Now you’re all prepared to get out there and enjoy what the British Springtime has to offer! Don’t forget your poop-a-scoop or bags though, of course we couldn’t end a blog without reminding you!
We’d love to hear from you if you have any favourite springtime walks, or if you’d like to warn others about any perils you’ve faced whilst walking your dogs this time of year. Please use the comment box below to tell us all about it!