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Springtime is in full effect and while seeing all the changes in nature has been beautiful, we want to make sure that everyone is safe from all dangers, including the small ones you might not even realize are there.
Bugs Bugs Bugs
With springtime comes lots of bugs that were hiding away during the cold months. Bees, mosquitoes, and ticks are among the most dangerous to be aware of.
Bees are a huge part of all the pollinating that happens when all the plants start to bloom. They are everywhere you see a flower and that’s almost everywhere.
Unfortunately for all of us with curious pups, bees come with stingers. Though they don’t really WANT to sting them… they will if they feel threatened. Worse still, some of our dogs (and us too) are allergic to bee stings.
Some species, such as the Apidae* family of bees are ground nesters, meaning they build their nest in the ground. We also have the Africanized honey bee, also known as the “Killer Bee” here in America**. Although not native, they are widespread and fiercely territorial swarming potential threats ( Like little Fido ) and stinging by the hundreds. This is why we need to be extra observant of our dogs when they are outside playing and exploring. Even when you don’t see bees or a hive, they could still be around.
No matter the type of bee you stumble upon the best thing you can do its get your pooch and get somewhere enclosed. Indoors with the windows shut would be best, but if you’re not home I would suggest getting into your car with all the windows up and air vents shut. The next thing to do would be to get out of there!! If you are not sure if your dog has a severe allergy you should go to the vet right away to ensure a clean bill of health***. I would also ask that you please do not harm the bees if possible. They are only trying to defend themselves and, if left unprovoked, will leave you well enough alone.
The warm weather is going to start bringing out many more mosquitoes than were out before. With this comes an increased risk of your dog catching Heartworm****, a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. The best thing you can do to prevent this potential danger is to go see your vet and have them prescribe you some heartworm prevention medicine. They will have different types that cost different amounts, so there should be one relatively affordable for you***.
Ticks are another small bug that can cause some BIG problems. These little guys are sneaky and will creep up and latch on while playing so that you never notice them. Once on they will latch onto their host and feed of them, as well as passing on any diseases they may be carrying. Diseases like Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and babesiosis*****. Like the Mosquito, the best thing you can do to protect your pet is to get them the preventative treatment from your vet***.
Table Scraps and Candy
with springtime comes easter and with that comes delicious food. The food and alcohol, although yummy for us, is not healthy for your pet. Many of the foods we eat are processed and full of things that dogs would never eat in their normal diet. Not to mention that many tasty foods, such as grapes, are poisonous to dogs******. This same goes for candy, especially chocolate. Best to stick with only treats designed for dogs, such as Medusa’s Barkery’s Cinnamon Apple treats.
Keep that leash on
No matter if you are going outside for a minute to go potty or all day on a hike, you should always keep your dog leashed. Although some dogs are friendly, some dogs have training, some dogs don’t wander, you never know what environment you’re walking into and IT’S THE LAW. If you keep your dog leashed you will be able to have better control over them and their reaction to your surroundings. Leashing your dog is important no matter where you are, whether you’re in your neighborhood, apartment complex or local park. Although these locations feel comfortable and your dog may “Always listen” “never leave your side”, or ” is friendly and wouldn’t hurt a fly”, you never know how someone else’s dog will behave. Unfortunately, we have dealt with this first hand with our very own, Medusa. Although Medusa is a loving mushy pile of fur, she can get a bit of an attitude towards other animals, whether it is a bird, bunny or dog she wants to go for it. Unfortunately for dogs like Medusa and pet parents like us, sometimes we get unlucky and come across a dog that is not leashed and it almost always results in some sort of altercation with the dogs. Thankfully each time this has happened there have been no major injuries to either dog but it is still traumatizing for all the parties involved.
So for us, seeing people walk their dogs off leash is personal. We don’t want to stress about a potential dog fight and we also don’t want any injuries on our hands, so keeping your dog leashed really is better for everyone. They are not expensive, and if you need one and are on a budget you can get a cheap one here. If you still feel like you need to let your dog run around off leash you can take them to a local dog park where they can run around and play off leash with other dogs.
There are many other things that you want to be safe about when your pets may potentially be around or involved. Car rides, gardening, decorating with flowers and more. Just click here for more information.
Enjoy the weather, have some fun
Don’t let any of the information above keep you from taking your dog outside with you to enjoy the wonderful weather that springtime brings us. Go for a hike, take a walk around the block, enjoy the Easter festivities. Just remember to be vigilant to potential threats to your pups safety and have fun!
- ***I am not a vet, nor am I professionally trained in pet health, this is merely a suggestion based on what I would do in the situation.