Spring is an exciting time for gardeners, as the first green shoots and flowers start to emerge after the long, hard months of winter. But it’s a time when you need to be extra aware of your dog’s health and wellbeing.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the things you need to be aware of to make sure your garden is safe for your dog this springtime.

Toxic Flowers

Spring is a beautiful time for flowers in your garden. As daffodils, snowdrops and bluebells erupt from the earth with vivid colours to signal the days getting longer and warmer. Unfortunately these flowers can also be a danger to your dog.

The most dangerous part of flowers like this is the bulb – fortunately it’s comparatively rare for a dog to dig up and eat the bulbs. Flowerheads are more easily acceptable, colourful and potentially tempting. Fortunately they are comparatively less toxic, but still among the causes of diarrhea in dogs. In extreme cases, these toxins can cause tremors and convulsions, so it’s worth considering your planting in advance. If you’ve got a dog that digs, forages and has shown an interest in vegetation before then you might have to restrict what you plant for spring!

Ticks

Ticks are becoming more prevalent across the UK, as the climate grows warmer and deer grow more plentiful. The season ticks are active in is getting longer, and the geographical spread of parasites is getting wider too – this means that you definitely have to think about whether your dog is at risk from the tiny arachnids even in your own garden.

Ticks can live in heather, forests and their fringes and some grasslands, spending a lot of their time in leaf litter to avoid drying out. When a dog comes running through their environment, they can latch on. Sometimes they just cause irritation but ticks can often spread disease.

While you can try and reduce tick habitats in your garden by keeping it tidy and removing fallen leaves, the most important thing you can do to protect your dog as tick season gets underway is make sure your dog is treated.

Look for flea treatments that cover ticks as well, as these will repel the parasites and prevent them gaining a purchase. It’s still worth checking your dog for ticks regularly to ensure they haven’t picked any up – they can be quite hard to see so look carefully especially around the legs, between the toes and around the base of the tail. If you find one, get in touch with the vet to have them removed safely and your dog checked for disease!

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