Spring poisons - keeping your dog safe this spring

While you're out in the garden enjoying springtime with your dog - remember to stay aware of some key poisons that the season brings with it

 1. Spring bulbs  

Daffodils, tulips and crocus bulbs are toxic and can poison a dog if they were to be ingested. If you're busy gardening, it's easy to miss your dog having a great time digging a hole, but if that hole leads to any bulbs and they were to eat any, they could suffer side effects from fitting or heart and blood pressure problems, to vomiting and diarrhoea.

What comes as surprising to many is that even eating daffodil flowers or something that seems as innocuous as drinking the water from a vase of cut daffodils could be enough to make your dog unwell.

 2. Herbicides & fungicides – plant and fungal-killing chemicals 

These include weed killer and mildew control. Toxicity among herbicides varies enormously, but pet poisoning can occur from as little contact as brushing up against a treated plant. The results can vary from vomiting to liver failure – so keep these chemicals well away from your pets at all times.

 3. Rodenticides – rat or mouse killers

Never use rodenticides if you have a pet. They are as attractive to dog as they are to the rodents they are designed to kill, and that’s why they account for so much of the devastating pet poisoning seen by vets every year.

Symptoms can include weakness, lethargy, lameness or bruising, plus as vomiting, excitability, changes in body temperature and fitting. Even if you haven’t used this poison yourself but your pet is displaying any of these symptoms, it could be that they have eaten poison elsewhere, including from eating a rodent that had eaten the poison - so always seek veterinary advice immediately.

 4. Antihistamines

Unfortunately for many of us, the spring blossom means that hay fever is kicking in. Always be very careful not to leave antihistamines lying around as they can prove highly toxic to pets. Symptoms to look out for include agitation, lethargy, vomiting, aggression and seizures, and they could prove fatal.

 5. Lilies

And if you have a cat, always remember the danger that lillies present. For some, even being in the same room as a plant or bouquet of lillies can cause a toxic reaction. If there’s even a chance that your cat has come into contact with them, seek veterinary advice immediately as any delay could result in kidney failure or even death.

If you are concerned that you think your pet has eaten or been in contact with anything toxic, or if they have any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek veterinary advice immediately.

If you have an Kennel Club Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.