Spring Season Dangers for Pets and Their Alternatives

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The Spring season brings with it nicer weather, new plant growth, and nature’s beauty at its finest, but it is also that time of year when tending to the lawn and outdoor areas causes many pets to become victim to the hazardous chemicals that are in the products we use.

Thankfully there are non-toxic alternatives to the common products used outdoors during the Spring and Summer months.

When caring for the lawn, common products are pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides.  In fact, in 2010, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received more than 4,000 calls related to lawn toxins, driving the need for pet owners to find pet safe alternatives.

Pet Safe Alternatives for:

Lawn Fertilizer
Corn gluten is a natural, non-toxic alternative to common lawn fertilizer products and can be used in fields and golf courses as well as residential lawns.  Corn gluten is an organic fertilizer and a pre-emergent weed killer that is safe for dogs and cats.

Herbicides and Insecticides
Instead of using store bought products to spray on your plants and lawn in an attempt to get rid of insects, try using a pet safe alternative like an insect trap that uses non-toxic sterilized food materials as bait.  One example is the Flies Be Gone fly trap.  Another alternative to harmful herbicides is something called a flame weeder.  A flame weeder, or garden torch, is available at most garden or hardware stores and literally ignites the plants you need to get rid of.

Herbicidal soap sprays and white vinegar are also non-toxic herbicides.

Mothballs
Mothballs are commonly used in the Spring and Summer to not only get rid of moths, but many people think they are good repellents for rodents like skunks and moles.  Not only do the mothballs not work for repelling them, mothballs contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, both toxic substances.

Non-toxic, natural alternatives to mothballs to repel rodents like skunks include citrus smells, bright lights, or ammonia.

So many commercial products contain ingredients that are harmful to pets if ingested and sometimes just coming into contact with.  Keep in mind that both dogs and cats like to lay in the grass and even roll around, so lawn fertilizers are especially dangerous.

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