Spring Is in the Air
Spring is upon us, and so are the elements that come with the changing of the seasons. Spring brings the joys of puppies and kittens, but also the not-so-joyful thunderstorms and Cane toads. Additionally, pollen and other allergens are airborne during this time of the year, making this a season of high alert for pet owners as our pets move through their environments. Below are some of the things we will weather this season, as well as tips to help navigate the seasonal terrain!
Known for its thunderstorms, Florida receives from 80 to 100 days of thunderstorms per year, which provides countless opportunities for anxious pets to get overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are many ways to help soothe our pets during outside turbulence. (Note: In case of an actual disaster, make sure to have a pet plan in place.)
One method to aid dogs during a thunderstorm is a pressure wrap or what is known as a ThunderShirt(tm) or calm shirt/vest. These provide temporary comfort to calm anxiety due to loud noises or anxiety. You can read about the science behind them here.
Creating a dark, comfortable and safe space for our pets (like in a closet or a soundproofed area), is another way to help reduce anxiety during thunderstorms. Cats may automatically find one on their own, but dogs might need our help with providing that place to ride out the storm. There are also natural calming remedies available such as Bach Rescue Remedy for pets, pheromone sprays and diffusers, and CBD products as shown here on our Sit & Stay website.
Toads and Kittens and Puppies, Oh My!
The Cane Toad, also known as the Bufo Toad, is an omnivore who can be attracted to pet food that is left outside. They are common to find in residential areas and they breed year-round. Their skin gland secretion is toxic to household pets so it is vital that dogs or cats do not touch them with their mouths or paws. They have also been known to sit in a dog’s water bowl, which can leave enough toxin in the water to be fatal, making it important to not leave out any standing water to attract them. There is no antidote for their toxin, so it is imperative that our pet sees a vet immediately upon contact. See this link for symptoms of toad poisoning.
This is the season for puppies and kittens, and if you’ve ever raised one, you know there are 101things to do in your home to prepare for their little inquisitive mouths and paws! Both puppies and kittens are curious little creatures, and many things we take for granted are harmful and/or could be fatal to them. Pet specialists recommend that you lie on the floor and take a look around. What can you see from their perspective that might be dangerous to them? Follow this link for the American Kennel Club’s checklist for puppy-proofing your home.
Kittens, like puppies, have all the same interests as they explore their new world. However, kittens can get to places that puppies can’t, so there are additional things you need to do to ensure your kitten’s safety. Here are additional tips to kitten-proof your home.
Not only do our pets respond to allergens, they can track them inside! According to the CDC, both cats and dogs can bring in infections that range from Ringworm to Staph (1). They can also both track pollen onto our bed and furniture, so it is recommended that their paws be washed before letting them back into the house. With allergy season starting earlier this year (2), this will reduce the risk of respiratory problems for the entire household, bipedal and quadrupedal alike.
Additional Reading & References
Thunderstorm anxiety: https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/thunderstorm-anxiety-and-pets/52464/
Ways to calm your puppy during a thunderstorm: https://www.petlandflorida.com/7-ways-to-calm-your-puppy-down-during-a-thunderstorm/
Toad Poisoning in Cats:
Puppy- and Kitten-Proofing:
Allergens and Cleaning