Common risks for your dog this spring

Now that spring has officially arrived, there will be blooming flowers, bright days, and new places to discover. Although the Spring season is upon us, there are certain risks for our furry friends. In fact, it is reported that 4.6 million dog owners believe their pet has fallen ill after consuming something poisonous whilst on a walk. 


Common risks for your dog this spring



The experts at Puppy Hero wanted to outline the most typical risks to our canine friends throughout Spring and provide advice on how to keep them safe during the warmer months. In order to do this, they examined a number of threats and determined which ones were most important to keep dogs safe this season.


Common risks for your dog this Spring:

  1. Flowers & Plants:

Daffodils - Representative of rebirth and new beginnings, the spring flower daffodil may look pretty. Unfortunately, however, a daffodil bulb is poisonous and can trigger severe vomiting and diarrhoea among our pets. In this case, it is best to avoid planting Daffodils in your garden and keep an eye on your dog during walks.

Tulips, Amaryllis & Hyacinth - These flower bulbs aren’t as lethal as daffodils but if they are eaten in large quantities these spring flowers can irritate a dog’s mouth and gastrointestinal tract, resulting in drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea. In serious cases some may suffer heart problems and breathing difficulties, to refrain from this happening it is recommended to stay clear.

Rhododendrons & Azaleas - Pretty in pink, these flowers are deceiving as they contain a highly toxic substance called grayanotoxin that can cause nausea, vomiting and breathing difficulties if eaten by your pooch. The best thing to do when picking your flower seeds is to opt for pet-friendly ornamental flowering shrubs.

Buttercups - This bold and bright yellow flower symbolises purity, happiness and friendship, but deep in their core they are poisonous and toxic for dogs to consume. This little ray of brightness can cause drooling, vomiting and seizures among our pets, therefore extra care in overgrown fields and meadows is required.

  1. Garden:

Fertilisers, Insecticides and Herbicides - These are commonly used to combat pests, insects and diseases. Although they aren’t a huge risk to dogs, if direct contact such as brushing against or swallowing occurs then our furry friends may be at risk from life-threatening poisoning and can result in clinical signs of drooling, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Cocoa Mulch - This can be great to increase soil vitality and can improve the attractiveness of flower beds, but much like chocolate, the soil contains theobromine which is lethal to dogs. Try to use this sparingly, and if your dog has consumed this, then make sure to seek veterinary help as quickly as possible.

Slug & Snail Pellets - Pellets are another chemical used to deter garden pests. Snails come out of hibernation in the warmer months such as April and the pellets used to control them can be toxic to our pets. A way to ensure you get rid of the pests whilst maintaining a healthy and safe life for your pup is by avoiding products that contain metaldehyde and by scattering pellets sporadically.

  1. Out & About:

Wasps & Bees - Everyone knows how much these stripey, flying insects love flowers and spring can be the season that we see them most! However, curiosity always gets the better of our furry friends which can lead to a nasty sting on the nose— but most stings are not emergencies. However, if the sting is in the mouth or neck, or the dog turns out to be allergic, then veterinary help may be essential.

Slugs & Snails - In almost every garden you will find these slow-moving, slimy creatures and whilst they seem harmless, it turns out that for dogs it is extremely important to keep the two away from each other. Unfortunately, they carry a fatal disease called Lungworm, which comes from eating slugs and snails, as they carry the parasite. To avoid your dog catching this, you should make sure you keep your dog up to date with worming treatments.

Plastic Easter Grass - An alternative to natural grass which can deceive the pet’s eye, if any animal or pet ingests this it won’t poison them, but can lead to intestinal blockage just like if they ate other plastic items such as toys or bones. Instead of using plastic grass, substitute it for tissue paper and make sure to see a ve​​t if they have ingested anything plastic.

  1. Food & Drink:

Chocolate - Easter is known for its chocolate treats and sweet desserts but there is a stimulant called theobromine which works similarly to caffeine that is poisonous to dogs. The best thing is to keep easter eggs out of reach and make sure to supervise when the rich treat is being indulged.

Hot Cross Buns - A famous baked good, hot cross buns contain grapes, raisins, currants, and sultanas which are toxic to dogs and could be a choking hazard. The best way to stop dogs from getting these is by disposing of leftovers correctly.

Spring Onions - Typically a topping or meal enhancer, this vegetable can cause stomach irritation and red blood cell damage leading to anaemia but in general, all types of onions can have a negative impact on our pooches so it is best to get rid of any leftovers carefully.

Wendy Andrew (‘The Pet Loss Lady’), Founder of  The Scottish Bereavement Counselling Service commented on how certain objects and foods can have a negative effect on dogs.

“As an experienced caregiver, it is best to walk dogs in rural locations for safety reasons, the risk of toxicity is lower this way. Any dogs I have concerns about when taking them out, I insist they wear a muzzle for their own protection. It is a simple and potentially life-saving solution. Professional walkers need to have an awareness of the harms of wildlife which includes flowers, plants and insects. Especially native species such as giant hogweed, hemlock and horse chestnut when out - these are often forgotten.”