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Pet owners should be cautious as their animals spend time outside this spring

As nice weather comes this spring and summer and our animals spend time outside, there are things pet owners need to be cautious of.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As nice weather comes this spring and summer and our animals spend time outside, there are things pet owners need to be cautious of.

Outdoor plants and indoor plants can be harmful to your pets. Dr. Bob Hale with Briarwood Animal Clinic said that most of the time, the taste will detract pets, but even small amounts ingested can raise concern.

"When the new green grasses and leaves come out, it's almost instinctive that dogs and cats and other mammals go out and want to chew on them," said Hale. "There are hundreds of these plants some are nontoxic, but most are toxic."

Hale said some of these plants can hurt your pets' kidneys, intestines, or liver. Also, some plants that people might think would be okay for pets to eat really aren't.

"If pets eat some leaves from the onion family, grape family, and apple family, even those can do harm," he said.

Hale advises pet owners to watch their pets inside and outside and if they see them ingesting any plants, they should consider calling their vet.

"You don't know how much they did chew so if you think they have been chewing, look for symptoms and call the vet," he said.

Also, just like their human parents, cats and dogs can be affected by seasonal allergies this time of year.

"Allergies this time of year can cause sniffles and conjunctivitis," he said. "If symptoms are excessive you need to call your vet."

Hale said that sometimes allergy symptoms that seem small, like itchy eyes, can become a major issue if neglected.

"They can itch too hard and scratch their cornea which can be very painful and damaging," he said.

He also warms people not to try home remedies that sometimes pop up on google searches without consulting a vet. His main message is that pet owners can't be too cautious this spring. Be aware of what your pet is getting into, how they are feeling and reach out to the vet for help.