We are all concerned for the safety of our beloved pets, so it is important to realize there are many household and personal items that can be dangerous to them. The kitchen is probably the main room were our four-footed friends get into trouble, because they associate that room with pleasant smells and tastes. They are always on the lookout for a treat to snatch, and, besides food, there are always medications, cleaning products, and trash bins that pose threats. Keeping items off the counter, and keeping lids on trash bins are important if there are pets in the home.

We know that goodies containing raisins, grapes ,or currents can cause kidney problems in dogs, but It isn’t only food that poses a threat to pets. Batteries, plants, and fragrance products that are found throughout the house are common dangers. Laundry detergent pods, and dryer sheets are both hazards. It is important to keep laundry products in a closed cabinet and pick up any dropped dryer sheets or detergent pods

While most dogs love to feel the wind on their faces, allowing them to ride in the beds of pick up trucks or stick their heads out of moving car windows is very dangerous. Insects and flying debris can cause ear or eye injuries or even lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury. Pets should always ride inside the cab of a pickup, and even inside a car they should be secured in a crate or wear a seatbelt harness designed for them.

Garages can be extremely hazardous places for our four-footed companions. Most people store a variety of chemicals in the garage which pose serious concerns for pets, and often times rodenticides are stashed there. All chemicals should be securely closed and placed up, out of reach of curious paws.

Pets love spending time outdoors so watch out for poisonous plants. Toxic species common at this time of year include lilies, daffodils, and azaleas. Daffodils can be toxic, especially the bulbs, but the flower heads can also cause diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy. All parts of bluebells are poisonous to dogs and will cause discomfort with the risk of heart beat irregularity if a significant quantity is ingested. Dogs who eat ivy commonly develop diarrhea and vomiting. Even contact with ivy can cause skin reactions, itchiness, and skin rashes. Other spring flowers, such as crocuses and tulips, are considered less toxic, but it is best to seek veterinary advice if you suspect your pet has eaten them.

While it is great to have company while working in the yard, be aware of the actions of your dog. Fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if ingested. When using any chemicals on your yard, it is best to keep your pets away until it is completely dry or watered in.

Just like people, dogs can develop allergies to plants, pollens, grasses and many other spring time substances. Allergies in pets normally appear as itchy skin and ear problems, sometimes with hair loss or inflamed skin. Some will suffer respiratory signs or runny eyes, and need vet attention.

Another common outdoor danger is lighter fluid and charcoal briquettes used for outside grilling. If you are having a springtime barbecue, make sure your pets are kept at a safe distance. Bones, kebob skewers, and alcohol can be dangerous. Warmer weather. and closer contact among animals, encourage the spread of disease. Make sure your pets are up to date on important vaccines. Be aware of the common pests in your area, and use the same common sense you would use for your pets as yourself. By following basic springtime safety tips, you can avoid springtime hazards that could make springtime miserable for your pets.