Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spring Has Sprung! (Part 2)

Last month, I discussed the first of two very important concerns to think about this spring with regard to your dog's health & protection:  Ticks.  This month, let's discuss the second thing you should be thinking about this spring when it comes to your dog's health and protection:   

Dog Protection Concern #2:  Pesticides.  Many of us who have dogs also have our own backyards, or at the very least we try to walk our dogs in grassy places.   But before your dog trots happily through the lush green grass on his way to "fertilize" the lawn, make sure that it hasn't been treated with pesticides!  What most of us don't realize is that since your dog is much, much smaller than you, it only takes a small amount of poison, such as the amount your dog could lick off his paws when he comes in from playing outside, to cause serious harm to your dog.  All it takes is for your dog to walk through a lawn that's been treated with pesticides and then lick his paws, or play on the grass long enough to absorb the poison through his skin.  Signs of poisoning vary depending on what kind of pesticide was used, but here's some info on what you should look out for:  Dogs and Pesticide Use   

So, what should you do to keep your dog safe, while still keeping your lawn green and bug-free?  Well, there are a few options:
  • Use Pet-Friendly Fertilizers & Pesticides.  When you buy lawncare products at the store, look for those that say on the label that they are "pet-friendly."  Some of these may also be organic, which can be an added bonus. Often, people think that "organic" or "pet-friendly" products might not be as strong or as effective as regular lawncare products, but I've been able to find pet-friendly versions of just about every lawn or pest control product out there, and they seem to me to be just as effective as their chemical counterparts. 
  • Find a Pet-Friendly Lawn Care Service.  Some lawn services have pet-friendly insecticide or fertilizer products if you ask them.  If they don't, then ask to schedule your lawn care appointment at a time when you know your pups won't need to be on your grass for at least 2-3 days after application.  Water your grass thoroughly, then let it dry completely before allowing your dog back on the lawn. 
  • Keep off the Lawn!  All companies that spray pesticides are required to put those little signs in the yard that say the grass has been sprayed by something toxic.  Keep on the lookout for those little signs, and if you see them, steer your pup clear of the grass.
Remember, there are lots of small preventative measures you can take to keep your dog safe from both ticks and pesticides this spring... but Prevention is the key!!     

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