Seasonal Weather Changes
Spring is here and the warmer weather is starting! This means more time outside with our family and friends and especially our furry ones. To make sure we keep the fun going and everyone safe, here are a few tips to keep in mind during the warmer months:
Insects and bugs: Keep an eye out for bees and wasps. If a curious pooch or pouncing feline gets stung, scrape away the stinger if you can find it. Also, while protecting yourself, be sure to keep insect repellents and sunscreens out of paws’ reach. If ingested, these products can cause neurological issues, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Plants: Many fruits and vegetables ripen in the spring, but not all are pet safe! Grapes and raisins specifically can impair kidney function. Carrots, green beans, broccoli, apples, and bananas are safe and beneficial for most dogs and cats in moderation. Certain outdoor and indoor plants are starting to bloom, and it is important to know which ones are harmful to your pet. Azaleas, daffodils, tulips, and lilies are all poisonous to pets (just to name a few). Also be conscious about what fertilizers, insecticides, weed killers, and cleaners you are using. Look for pet-friendly options as poisonous chemicals can be absorbed through paws or ingested.
Grooming: Keeping your fur-babies well-groomed is crucial during this time. Give a regular thorough brushing to prevent matted fur which can harbor pests, create sores, and trap in heat.
Rising temperatures: Keep pets well-hydrated and provide shade when outdoors. An air-conditioned house is safest, but the next best thing is a well-ventilated and insulated doghouse, a catio, or a shaded porch with a fan or misting system. It’s important to know how to keep your pet safe from the dangers of heatstroke. Heatstroke occurs when your pet’s temperature becomes too high, anything over 106 degrees.
The concept of a pet having seasonal allergies may seem unusual, especially when they’re often the cause of allergies in humans. Both cats and dogs can be made miserable from allergies, but they also react differently than you might expect. You’re more likely to hear the thumping of legs on the floor as they scratch their itches as opposed to outright sneezing and wheezing. Here’s a look at seasonal allergies in pets and how a veterinarian can help you help your pets.
- Warm weather brings the usual suspects of mold, pollen, and dust into play every spring. Conditions are optimal for these irritants to bloom and become airborne. You and your pets breathe in the same air, and all of you are breathing in irritants that cause a histamine response.
- Cats and dogs develop something known as atopic dermatitis or allergic inhalant dermatitis. It’s a hereditary condition, much like in humans.
- When a pet is experiencing atopic dermatitis, its body is undergoing an inflammatory response. The body is attempting to get rid of the irritant through any means possible, and in pets, this is primarily done through the skin. As the body expels the irritant, the pet’s skin becomes itchy in certain spots, or it can be all over the body.
When a pet is not treated for allergies, they will not stop their attempts to find relief. They keep scratching and chewing at their hot spots and give themselves sores along with pulling out their own hair. Some pets may wheeze and sneeze frequently, but atopic dermatitis is the most dominant sign of allergies. Seasonal allergies in pets will not go away on their own, and it’s advisable to consult with our veterinarians to learn about allergy relief options.
Talk to a Veterinarian About Seasonal Care for Your Pets
Keeping your pet safe is a 24/7 job. Outdoor activities are amazing bonding experiences for you and your pets so be safe and have fun. Be sure to contact University Veterinary Hospital at 510-841-4412 about seasonal care for your pets and what you can do to stay happy and safe outdoors!