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march is pet poison awareness month

Six Pet Safety Tips for Spring

Here in California it feels like spring comes early and stays longer. Our warmer climate may have something to do with that! But with every seasonal change comes new health and safety measures to keep in mind for our pets.

  1. Allergies

    New flowers are blooming and weeds are growing. These can cause an uptick in allergies for both humans and pets. For humans, allergies produce sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. For pets, they often cause itchiness, a runny nose, and/or ear infections. You may notice the following with your pets: chewing or licking of paws, red and itchy bumps on their body or shaking and scratching at their ears. These are common signs of seasonal allergies in your pet. Talk to your primary care veterinarian about how you can relieve your pet’s discomfort.
  2. Plants

    Certain plants are toxic to dogs and cats. As your garden blooms be aware of the many plants–such as azaleas and tulips–that can harm your dog or cat if ingested. Many types of lilies are particularly dangerous to cats.For more information about poisonous plants and chemicals, check the poison list at the Pet Poison Helpline. You can filter the list by plant to find information about toxicity levels and the clinical signs to look for if your pet has eaten the plant.
  3. Fertilizers and Pesticides

    Fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and other chemicals can help create a beautiful garden, but they can be dangerous for pets. Keep these materials out of your pet’s reach. If you have a pet who loves to be outside on the lawn or in the garden, keep an eye on them. And if your dog has a habit of eating dirt, be sure to keep them away from any soil that contains fertilizers and pesticides. We also recommend reading PetMD’s article “Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt?”
  4. Spring Cleaning

    When it’s time to deep clean our home, many of us will pull out those powerhouse cleaners which can contain extremely toxic chemicals, both to humans and animals. When it comes to spring cleaning, think of your pets as young toddlers who like to put everything in their mouths. It’s how they discover and investigate the world around them. Therefore, as responsible pet owners, make sure all household cleansers, including detergents, bleach, peroxide, carpet and rug cleaners, pool cleaners and other chemicals are stored in a closed cabinet where pets can’t reach them. When using cleaners, we recommend securing your pets in a separate room or in their kennel until the cleaning is done and the liquids are dry. Remember, we not only want to prevent ingestion, many times, these cleaners can irritate your pet’s paws and skin.If your pet needs emergency services at any time after ingesting toxic plants or chemicals, please do not hesitate to take them to your local vet as soon as possible to get them some help. 
  5. Microchip

    With more time spent outdoors, now is the time update your pet’s contact information with your pet’s microchip registry. If your pet is not microchipped, look at their collar tags to make sure all the information is up to date. 

    Note: We encourage you to get your pet microchipped. It’s a quick and affordable process that can be done at either your local Veterinary Office, Madera County Animal Services, or Friends of Madera Animal Shelter's  monthly "Low Cost Vaccine Clinic".  Learn more about microchipping here. 

  6. Parasite Prevention

  • Flea/Ticks: Warmer weather means an increase in fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. If your pet is not on year-round parasite prevention medication, there is no time like the present to get them on it. 
  • Heartworms: Though historically was not commonly found, the numbers have been increasing in recent years. The disease, which is transmitted by an infected mosquito, is potentially fatal and difficult to treat, but it is easily preventable with medication. Talk to your veterinarian about the right preventative medication for your pet.
  • Remember.... never give parasite prevention medicine meant for dogs to cats. These formulations are made specifically for the species and can be fatal if not used as intended.

We hope you found these spring pet safety tips helpful!








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Madera Animal Services Mission

Madera County Animal Services is a county agency whose purpose is to provide humane and professional solutions for animal related problems, to encourage responsible behaviors, and to create a safer environment for people and animals to co-exist.

Through the collaborative and sustainable partnerships, we strive to improve the lives of the animals in our care through the community outreach and education, providing veterinary treatment and preventative care for animals in our shelter. Reuniting lost pets with their families and ensuring positive outcomes through adoption, rescue, or foster programs.

Check us out on Facebook at: Madera Animal Shelter

Madera County Animal Services Staff/Volunteer of 2019 

Madera County Animal Services Officer's of 2019