By Polly Keary, Editor
The stores are full of Easter candy, but did you know it can poison your pet? That’s one of many things to be aware of as the weather warms.
Here are ways to make sure your furry friends are fine throughout the season:
1. Watch where you put Easter treats. Hiding chocolate eggs around the house for an indoor hunt on a rainy Easter Sunday? Be sure you keep careful track of where you left them, and make sure your animals don’t have access to them until the hunt is over. The same goes for plastic candy-stuffed eggs hidden outdoors; the plastic shell is no deterrent to a determined dog.
Also be aware the Easter lilies can be fatal to pets if ingested, and keep them out of reach.
2. Make sure your windows have screens that can prevent your pet from getting out. As the weather warms, it’s nice to open windows to let in fresh air, but if you let your pet out, you might not get it back. Cats especially are prone to falling off sunny windowsills.
3. Keep your critter car-safe. It might not feel terribly warm outdoors, but a car left in a sunny spot will heat up quickly. In fact, thanks to the greenhouse effect of an enclosed car, the interior can heat up 20 degrees in just 10 minutes and 40 degrees in half an hour. That means a 70 degree day could reach a sweltering 110 in your car before you get back out of the store.
4. Pet-proof your garden. If you and your animals are all outside enjoying a warm spring day while you work in the garden or on your lawn, make sure all fertilizers and pesticides are somewhere your pets can’t get into them.
5. This is insect season, and a good time to make your dogs and cats safe from pests. See your veterinarian for a year-round heartworm medicine, and now is the time to pick up flea and tick protection.
6. As you start spending more time outdoors, now is also a good time to get your pet microchipped. That way, if your pet does get away from you at a dog park or out an open window, if found, your pet can be identified and returned to you.
7. Dogs love to ride in the back of trucks, but just as you need a safety belt, so does your pet. It doesn’t take a crash to cause a serious injury; a sudden stop or sharp turn can throw your pets into walls, windows or even out of the vehicle. Keep a crate in the back of the truck for travel, or pick up a safety harness for the car seat.