Spring Fever Pet Safety Tips

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – March 20, 2014 – Now that spring has finally arrived and the weather is warming up, our thoughts begin to turn to spring cleaning, home improvement projects, and just plain outdoor fun.

But the warmer weather can prove not-so-sunny for curious pets.  Before embarking on seasonal chores or outdoor activities, take a moment to consider potential springtime hazards for your pet.  Here are just a few safety tips for you to consider.


Open Windows

Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also put their pets at risk—especially cats, who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows. If you have adjustable screens, make sure they are tightly wedged into window frames.


Buckle Up!

Dogs love to feel the wind on their faces, but allowing them to ride in the bed of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car windows is a big no-no.   Flying debris and insects cancause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns may cause major injury.  In Cedar Rapids, pets are prohibited from riding in the bed of a pick-up truck unless they are secured in a strapped down crate or harnessed securely to prevent them from jumping out in traffic, or being thrown out in an accident or quick stop.


Spring Cleaning

For many, it’s a springtime tradition to do a deep clean around the house, but it’s important to be sure that all cleaners and chemicals are kept out of your pets’ way!   Almost all commercially sold cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage.


Home Improvement Projects

Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your four-legged friends.  Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.


Garden with Care

Fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients aren't meant for four-legged consumption and can be fatal if your pet ingests them.

Always store these poisonous products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully.


Poisonous Plants

Some springtime plants—including Easter lilies, rhododendron and azaleas—are highly toxic to pets and can easily prove fatal if eaten. Check out the list of poisonous plants on www.aspca.org.


Springtime Fun

Warm weather means trips to the park, long walks, time out in the yard playing, and more chances for your pet to wander off!   Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information.   Canines should wear flat (never choke!) collars!


If your pet should get out of the yard, or sneak through an open door, be sure to file a lost report with the Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control Center at (319) 286-5993, or preferably, visit the shelter Monday through Saturday between Noon and 5:00 PM.


About Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control

The shelter is located at 900 76th Avenue Drive SW.  For more information, please call (319) 286-5993 or check our webpage at www.cedar-rapids.org/animal.