March 14th, 2019 is Save a Spider Day!! Did you know that spiders are our friends? Many people have a fear of spiders, whether it be innate or whether it be a fear that they develop later in life. This fear often occurs as a result of a negative experience, such as a painful spider bite, or from the influence of a classic movie such as Arachnophobia!
Although many of the spiders found in Canada are rarely fatal to both us and our pets, there are maybe a few to be aware of:
Brown Recluse Spider- A very small spider with quite a BIG bite whose venom will leave a painful sore for a few weeks. Contact with a Brown Recluse is rare as they prefer to stay in dark, undisturbed places.
Yellow Sac Spider- This little guy who is native to California, Mexico, and parts of Central America often end up in Canada on shipments of grapes, so be sure to wash your fruit! Their bite is similar to being stung by a wasp, which will cause swelling and muscle pain that could take weeks to go away.
Black Widow Spider– This spider, well known for its distinctive shiny, black, round body, and two reddish triangles on its abdomen often arrives in Canada on a shipment of grapes as well, but some varieties are also native to southern parts of Canada. The reaction to a bite by this spider will often depend on the person, and will range from no symptoms to mild muscle pain. Very rarely is a bite from this spider fatal.
Wolf Spider- This spider is native to Canada and is generally harmless. They are neither dangerous, not aggressive and their venom may cause only mild redness or swelling.
Signs of a Spider Bite on Your Pet
If your dog or cat has been bitten by a spider you may notice swollen areas, redness and lumps in the area of the bite. Although bites can occur anywhere on the body, noses and ear flaps are more likely to receive bites. If your dog or cat receives a bite on his body, it may be difficult to spot due to the fur. The bite may become infected before it’s even spotted, so it’s a good idea to make checking their skin and fur a habit to ensure that you find the bite before it becomes infected. The effects of an undetected spider bite may present itself in the form of a fever, weakness, muscle or joint pain, seizure, puss, weak pulse, increased heart rate, lethargy, vomiting, difficulty walking or standing, or diarrhea. If this is the case call your vet and seek medical attention for your pet.
Every Creature Has a Purpose
Although spiders may sometimes pose a problem for both humans and pets, they have a purpose and are beneficial in numerous ways. For example, they control the numbers of other insects both indoors and outdoors. Spiders’ favourite foods are common indoor pests, such as roaches, earwigs, mosquitoes, flies and moths. They also contribute to controlling the swarms of flies and mosquitoes outdoors too. In some cultures spiders are actually considered to bring good luck to the home, but if you see one in your home and do not wish for it to be there “Save a Spider”, use a cup to scoop it up, and gently rehome the unsuspecting little spider to the outdoors. You can also just relocate him to another part of the home where you don’t have to see him. Remember, when you see a spider in your home he is only there because he is eating something 😉.
For your dogs, it’s best to train them not to approach spiders they see and definitely teach them not to pick them up in their mouth since sometimes it is difficult to tell whether the spider is harmless or a more dangerous kind. Also, keep an eye on cats as they love to play with anything that they see crawling around on the floor or along the wall. As a precaution it is best to leave spiders alone so they can continue doing their job in nature.
When out and about dog walking or pet sitting your pets you can be assured that Move Your Doggie staff will take all the precautions and measures to keep your fur babies safe. We are all Pet First Aid and CPR certified and know to contact your regular vet or emergency vet should a spider bite by chance occur.
The next time you see a spider, consider all the wonderful ways he contributes to your environment.
Happy Save A Spider day!
Please feel free to post any questions or comments below or leave us a message on our Contact Us page to book your complimentary meet-and-greet.