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Pet Safety Tips for Spring

Springtime has arrived in the Nashville area, which means longer days and spending more time outside with your pet. In order to fully enjoyfamily with dog outdoors the warmer weather of spring, it is important to keep in mind certain safety practices. As the most comprehensive veterinary clinic in East Nashville, 5 Points Animal Hospital places a high priority on educating our clients on how to keep their pets as healthy and happy as possible. We would like to share with you a few pet safety tips for the spring season.

Be aware of holiday candy and decorations.

This season includes some major religious holidays, such as Easter and Passover, and food plays a big role in these celebrations. Cat owners should be careful of the possibility of their cats attempting to eat both real and fake plants. One of the most dangerous plants for cats is the lily. This flower can be fatal to your cat if he ingests it, according to the ASPCA, and if your cat eats plastic decorative grass, he can suffer from dehydration, nausea, and even an obstructed digestive tract. If you have a dog, you should also keep an eye on what he eats. Make sure to keep holiday candy out of reach from your pets.

Secure your windows.

Although it seems like a cliché, it is true that dogs love to hang their heads out of a moving-car-window; however, this, as well as riding unsecured in the back of a pick-up truck, can be very dangerous. Whenever your pet is riding with you in your car, you should always keep him safe by securing him in his crate or wearing a specially-designed harness as a seatbelt. You should also check your windows at home to make sure sturdy screens are properly installed before you open them. Cats are especially prone to jumping out of opened windows.

Store toxic chemicals out of the way.

Many homeowners have a traditional spring cleaning routine they do every year. When you are taking care of these tasks, make sure your pets cannot get into your cleaning products. Even if they claim to be all-natural, most contain chemicals that can be harmful to your animals. This includes paint, solvents, mineral spirits, and other home improvement products as well as gardening products such as fertilizer and insecticides.

Keep your pets safe this spring by staying aware of these tips. Contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital for all of your veterinary needs.

Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog in the Rain

The highlight of your dog’s day is going for a regular walk each and every day. Not only is it an exciting opportunity for adventure for your dog, but a daily walk is also a way to get the necessary exercise that keeps your dog happy and healthy. Unfortunately, the weather may not always be perfect for walking your dog every day. Although spring does bring warmer temperatures to the Nashville area, strong storm systems with thunder, lightning, hail, and even tornadoes are common, which is why 5 Points Animal Hospital recommends that dog owners regularly check the daily and weekly weather forecast. While you should never go outside with your dog when a thunderstorm, tornado, flood, or other severe weather warning has been issued by the National Weather Service, you can still take your dog on shorter versions of his daily walk on rainy days. We would like to share with you a few tips to keep you and your dog safe when walking in the rain. 

Be aware of low visibility dangers.

Think about how hard it can be to see when you are driving in the pouring rain. To keep your dog safe around cars in low visibility, PetMD recommends avoiding going for walks during heavy rainstorms. If rain is in the forecast, try to take your dog on his daily walk before the storm arrives. If a rainy walk is unavoidable, keep it shorter than usual.

Seek shelter if you hear thunder or see lightning.

Many dogs can get spooked by thunderstorms, which is why you should always avoid walking your pet during a thunderstorm warning. However, these types of storms can pop up suddenly in this area, so if you ever see lightning or hear thunder, you should quickly seek shelter. Be sure to stay away from trees and high points to stay safe as you are on your way to the closest shelter.

Avoid puddles.

Although your dog may love to jump into puddles when you are on your daily walks, standing water can contain infectious bacteria or harmful chemicals that can make your dog very sick if he came into contact with it. To keep your dog from being tempted to drink from puddles, always offer him plenty of water before and during your walks. If your dog does step in a puddle during a walk, you should immediately clean his paws when you return home to keep him from ingesting any of the water when he licks his paws. Soak each paw for 30 seconds in antiseptic mouthwash that is diluted with water, and towel the paws dry. 

Stay alert to symptoms of pneumonia and other illnesses.

Just like humans, dogs can be more susceptible to developing respiratory illnesses when exposed to cold, rainy weather for too long. You can keep your dog from getting sick by drying him with a warm towel or blanket as soon as you come home from a rainy walk. If you notice him wheezing, coughing, or having any other type of difficulty with breathing, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital immediately. Pneumonia can be life-threatening, so you can count on us to provide the best veterinary medical care to your pet in our comprehensive full-service East Nashville clinic.

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