As loving pet parents, keeping your pets safe needs to be a top priority to make sure your dog or cat lives the longest, happiest life possible. That means it is your responsibility to be well informed so that you can help keep your dog or cat safe. Whether you are at home or taking a walk, your pet’s safety is in your hands.
The best way to protect your cat or dog is to understand potential dangers and take precautions to prevent disaster.
We’ve got you covered.
Check out these top 10 tips for keeping your pets safe:
Pet-Proof Your Home
Your dog or cat can be at risk if they get into your trash, chew electrical cords, or swallow random pills. It is essential to pet-proof your home just like you would for a baby for keeping your pets safe. This includes having trashcans with lids that your pet cannot open if your trash cans are not hidden in cabinet and safe kitchen counter tops for pets like cats who may walk on them. It also includes having covers for electrical outlets, containment systems for electrical cords, and baby gates that limit access to stairs or particular rooms. Furthermore, don’t forget to pet-proof your yard to ensure your dog can’t escape. Make sure all gates fully latch or lock when closing. Install fences that are high enough that your pets can’t jump over them. Make sure your pets can’t dig under a fence to get out and if your gate has openings make sure your pets cannot squeeze through them. Lastly, keep your medications out of the reach of your cat or dog.
Keep A Cat Or Dog First Aid Kit
Although a human first aid kit has some supplies that may work for pet emergencies, it doesn’t have everything you’ll need to save your pet in an emergency. You can purchase a cat or dog first aid kit or simply assemble your own pet first aid kit. Keep a main pet first aid kit at home and keep a smaller pet first aid kit in your car. It is also important to take a pet first aid and CPR class. The American Red Cross offers regular pet first aid online training. You can also find in person classes by doing a Google search for ‘pet first aid classes near me’.
Prepare For Emergencies For Keeping Your Pets Safe
The best way to avert disaster is to be fully prepared for it. Include your pets in disaster plans. Know where you can go with your pets in the event of a natural disaster in case you have to evacuate your home with short notice. Keep extra pet medications, food, water, bowls, treats, leashes, blankets, microchip paperwork, vaccination records, etc., all packed and stored in a safe place. This way everything you need for keeping your pets safe will be easy to access in the event of an emergency.
Avoid Toxic Plants That Could Kill Your Pet
Take a look around your home and yard to ensure that you don’t have one of these common garden plants that could be toxic to your dog or cat: oleander, azalea, lantana, Brugmansia (also known as Angel’s Trumpet), castor bean plant, etc. Check out ASPCA’s guide to toxic and nontoxic plants here for a complete list of dangerous plants for cats and dogs. You an also check out this article on Common Plants That Are Poisonous To Dogs And Cats.
Purchase Quality Toys and Bedding Only
Good quality toys will withstand your dog’s chewing strength. Others can break up causing risk of choking or risk of digestive obstruction. For example, did you know that rawhide poses these risks to dogs and it is treated with chemicals? To read more about whether rawhide is dangerous for dogs click here. Also, inspect and wash your dog’s bedding regularly. If the bed has a ripped cover or crumbling foam core, it’s time to replace it. It can choke your pet.
Protect Your Pet From Extreme Weather
Extreme weather conditions can be hard on pets. Ear tips and paw pads can freeze in the cold. Physical exertion in high temperatures can cause heat stroke. Use pet sunscreen when in the sun and protect your pet from the cold with comfortable boots, sweaters, and/or coats. When it’s really hot outside, your pets’ health is at risk, even more so if you have a brachycephalic dog. Severe dehydration and heat waves kill pets. Be on alert for symptoms of heat stroke in a dog or cat and always keep them hydrated.
Keep Holidays Safe For Pets
Dogs and cats enjoy celebrating holidays with the rest of the family, but it is necessary to help them celebrate it more safely. Some human foods are dangerous to dogs and cats. They include chocolate, coffee, alcohol, avocados, etc. Tinsels, bonbons, lilies and many Halloween treats can also pose a significant threat to your furry friend. Therefore, never leave pets unsupervised in a room with holiday decorations, treats, or plants. For ways to help keep your pets safe at different holidays you may like these articles: 4th of July Pet Safety Tips, Halloween Safety Tips For Dogs, and End Of Year Holiday Pet Safety Tips.
Do Not Leave Pets In Cars Unattended
The inside of a car can reach a lethal temperature in minutes even in mild weather. Avoid locking your precious fur-kids up in the car outside while you quickly run into a store. Rolling down the windows doesn’t help either. It will only provide an escape opportunity. In winter, the temperature inside a car drops quickly and can freeze your pet to death. In summer, your car temperature can rise quickly, exposing your cat or dog to heat stroke, severe dehydration, and eventual death. Even when it is a mild 70 degrees outside, the inside of a car can heat up to 89 degrees in minutes. Leaving your car running also puts your pets at risk for other potential hazards.
Choose A Legal Guardian
Add your fur-kids when preparing your will. This will protect them should you pass away, become ill or incapacitated. Keeping your pet safe includes choosing a responsible, reliable and willing guardian and making it legal. This can also include leaving a set amount of money for the designated guardian to use for your pet’s care to ensure your dog or cat will have their every need met.
Pet Identification Tags For Keeping Pets Safe
One in three pets will become lost in their lifetime and without proper identification, about 90% of these pets may never make it back home according to the American Humane Association. Keeping your pets safe include always wearing a collar with an ID tag that includes your name, updated phone number and address and any other relevant contact information. It’s also important to microchip your pet. Collars and pet identification tags can break or fall off, leaving your pet without any identification. However, a microchip is a permanent alternative. A microchip can serve as a means of identification that can help ensure that your pet is returned home, if he/she is goes missing.
Two more tips for keeping your pets safe include teaching basic dog training and scheduling regular wellness exams with your veterinarian. Regular medical exams will help to ensure that your pet is in top shape health wise and also helps to catch potential illnesses early.
What other tips do you have in place for keeping your pets safe?