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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

Spring Cleaning and Yardwork Can Be Hazardous to Your Pet's Health

2016-04-14

Spring cleaning and working on your lawn and garden are both time-honored seasonal rites of passage. Many people actually look forward to these chores after months of being cooped up indoors. If you have a dog or cat, it's important to take some extra precautions to ensure that they don't become sick or injured when you clean the house and make the yard beautiful.
 
Keep Pets Out of the Way During Spring Cleaning
Bleach, carpet fresheners, and toilet cleaning tablets might seem harmless to you, but that's because you know enough not to eat them. Nearly every household product, even those that claim natural ingredients, can harm your pet if ingested. While you're making a day of spring cleaning, put your dog in his kennel or your cat in another room with food, water, and a clean litterbox. You can even bring your pet to our boarding facility for a day to ensure he’s out of the way.

Beware Fertilizers, Flowers, and Lawn Mowing
Fertilizers help the flowers in your garden grow strong and healthy, but many of them are extremely toxic to pets. You need to watch out for blood meal, pesticides, and plant fertilizers in particular. Even though your pet enjoys being around you outside, be sure that she always remains in the house when you're working in your garden. You should also consider putting a retractable fence around it so she can't get into at other times. If that’s not feasible, be sure to provide constant supervision when she’s near the garden.
 
Some of the most toxic plants for pets include:

  • Crocus
  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinth
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Specific types of lilies, including Asiatic, Day, Easter, Japanese Show, and Tiger
  • Tulips

If your pet ingests one of these flowers, symptoms can range from mild stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea to cardiac arrhythmia or respiratory distress. If you notice any unusual behavior from your pet after she's been near your flower bed, contact Minnesota Veterinary Hospital or the Pet Poison Helplineright away. 
 
Lastly, keep your pet indoors or in a secure outdoor kennel when you mow the lawn. He could be so excited to see you that he runs up to the mower and sustains a severe injury in a split second.  With a few extra precautions, spring can be an especially enjoyable time with your pet.

Photo Credit: Franny-Anne/iStock Photo