Keep your dog in top shape during the Spring months with these care tips. 

Sweats and Treats

If the Easter bunny brought chocolate treats for your family, make sure to store them in a safe place. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Dark chocolate and baker's chocolate are the most toxic for your pet, while white chocolate and milk chocolate don't pose quite as much of a risk. However, no amount of chocolate is good for your animal. If your pet ingests chocolate, call your vet for guidance.

A yellow lab in a field of wildflowersFlower Power

With gardening in full swing during the spring, pay special attention on whether you include to poisonous plants to your garden and landscape. Popular outdoor plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs include rhododendron, sago palm, and azalea, to name a few. 

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all cleaning products, even all natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage. Please visit the National Capitol Poison Center for more information.

Home Improvement 101

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 furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your animals to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.

Let it Grow

Fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep lawns and gardens healthy and green, but they have ingredients that may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places. Many popular springtime plants—including rhododendron and azaleas—are also highly toxic to pets and can prove fatal if eaten. Check out this full list of toxic and non-toxic plants for your home and garden.


Like us, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause itching, minor sniffling and sneezing, or life-threatening anaphylactic shock to insect bites and stings. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Pesky Little Critters

April showers bring May flowers—and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet. Please visit our Fleas and Ticks page for more information.

Out and About

Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks 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.