As Caesar was warned, "Beware the Ides of March", we too, need to look out for our furry friends as we are heading outdoors after a long winter. Doolittle's wants to keep all our 2, 3 and 4- legged customers safe and injury free during this time of year and into summer. So heed these 5 warnings as you go out and enjoy your Spring:

1. Injuries

Your pets have been cooped up all winter and are ready to get OUT! And that's great, but make sure they don't go TOO crazy! As a veterinarian, I know springtime is the most common time of year for injuries. They can include being by cars, sprains/strains, cruciate ligament tears, fractures, you name it. And our kitty friends are more likely to get serious injuries from cat fights as well. So take your dog out on a leash, initially, to get all that pent-up energy out. And if you're leaving windows in your home open to let some fresh air in, keep the screens secure to help prevent escapees. And make sure to have your pet microchipped in case they do get out.  If your dog does end up with an injury, hopefully only short term, consider our Slings or Harnesses for additional support.

2. Spring Cleaning

In the spring, many of us might feel inspired to clean out the house and/or garage. And that's great. But be careful what you leave out. Most solvents, paints, and cleaners are toxic to pets. Almost all rat baits can be fatal when ingested but effects aren't seen immediately. And when doing maintenance on your car, remember, antifreeze is one of the most deadly toxins for pets (it's sweet and doesn't take much to be deadly). If you're afraid your pet might have been exposed to a toxin, call the ASPCA Poison Control ASAP at 1-888-426-4435 (be prepared to let them know the ingredients when you call).

3. Parasites

Now is the time to get your pets on heartworm, flea, and tick prevention (unless you do it all year round). Heartworm disease can cause heart and lung failure, is transmitted by mosquitoes, and shows no outward signs of infection until it's too late. It is also completely preventable. Ticks can carry many diseases, depending on where you live, like Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesia, and Anaplasmosis. Call your veterinarian to determine which products are right for you and your pet. And check out Doolittle's effective  and easy to use Flea and Tick prevention products.

4. Car Trips

Now that the kids are going to be getting out of school soon, you'll want to emBARK on some family trips. And since they're part of the family, you'll want to take your pets too! Make sure you keep car windows closed enough so they can't jump out (one of my puppy patients just broke his leg doing this). It's best to have your pets buckled up, or in a crate for everyone's safety. And NEVER let your dog ride in the back of an open truck without being in a crate or tethered safely in the back. If you're looking for some awesome pet travel items, look no further than Doolittle's Car Travel.

5. Gardening

Those of you wanting to get your hands in the soil,  take heed. Be aware of allowing your pets access to fertilizers and certain mulches that can have toxic components. And, beware, that Slug Bait (or metaldehyde) is sweet and deadly. If your pet has ingested any of the above, call a pet poison hotline immediately!

Now go out and safely enjoy the beautiful spring with your pet!          

Dr. Kelley at Doolittle’s Pet Products