As your fur babies begin to spend more time outdoors, make sure to look out for these health hazards.


Warmer weather means more time outdoors—both for you and your fur babies. But the season brings with it several hazards that can affect your pet's health. Here are six potential dangers to be aware of and how to avoid them.

large dogs with leashes on pathway
Credit: Photography by Jessica Sample/Gallery Stock

Fertilizers & mulch

Many fertilizers contain toxic substances like nitrogen and iron or chemicals like pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides, all of which are dangerous if ingested. Drooling, nausea, and vomiting could be signs your pet has eaten one of these toxic substances, so keep an eye out and seek care if necessary. Be sure to use pet-friendly fertilizer and mulch in your own yard to help protect your pet. 


Insecticides are known for being the most poisonous chemical for pets. As with mulch and fertilizers, you can help prevent your pets from getting sick by using pet-friendly products. All bottles have warning labels on them, so read carefully before using on your lawn. 


Ticks are a year-round hazard, but they're especially bad in the summer. Check your pet frequently for ticks and carefully remove them. It sounds tedious, but it's a good idea to do a quick check each evening. You don't want ticks hanging out on your pets for a long period, and you don't want one to potentially get into your home and on you. 

Although it's rare, ticks can cause Lyme disease, so monitor your dog for any symptoms, including fever, loss of appetite, low energy levels, and joint swelling. Speak with your vet about a preventative tick treatment, like chews, serums, sprays, and more. 


Animals get springtime allergies just like humans do! Dogs and cats can be sensitive to pollen, plants, grasses, and more. Watch for signs of these allergies like itchy skin, ear problems, or loss of fur. If symptoms are bad enough, you might consider prescribed medications or over-the-counter fish oil capsules to help mitigate these symptoms. Be sure to seek guidance from a vet before adding anything additional to your pet's diet, though. 

Insect stings

You can't prevent your pet from getting stung by bees and other critters (just like you can't stop them from stinging you!), but rest assured that most cases are not emergencies. If your pet gets stung, be sure to remove the stinger. If the case is serious, you might need to inject medication. Swelling, distress, or breathing difficulties could be a signs of a more serious sting allergy. To minimize the risk of stinging, check your yard for any nests and keep your pets away from those areas. 


Warm weather means it's time to get that garden growing! But make sure you're careful about the flowers you plant. Some, like lilies, daffodils, and azaleas, are hazardous to dogs and cats and can cause vomiting and dehydration. In more severe cases, some plants are known for being lethal after digestion. Don't let this scare you, though. These dangers can be prevented with proper research. Pick your plants carefully, and try keep your pets away from flowers when you're at the park or on walks.