Category Archives: Pet Safety

No Scaredy-Cats Here! Stay Safe with Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Is your favorite energetic canine sporting a pet-sized superhero cape this year? And what about your precious feline—is she ready to meow-roar in her new identity as a lion? Even the bravest of pets will need some protection from the occasional hazards of Halloween. Here are several tips for keeping pets safe during this happy (and just-a-little haunted) time of year.

1. If your pet will be wearing a costume this year, test it on him ahead of time. Look for signs of discomfort or constriction. Make sure your pet can move freely, and check that his costume won’t cause him to stumble. Even that brilliant Taco Cat costume isn’t worth it if Whiskers feels miserable.

2. Reconsider a mask—your pet’s adorable face will get plenty of attention on its own! Common sense dictates that a pet should be able to breathe, bark, or meow normally.

3. Avoid pet costumes with small parts that could be chewed off or any accessories that would present a choking hazard.

4. Keep Fido in mind, and opt for LED candles instead of real ones. You can get the same spooky effect with flameless candles, and you won’t have to worry about injury or damage due to a fire.

5. Let your pet play with his own toys, and keep him away from decorations like fake cobwebs, light strands, plastic spiders, and strings.

6. Make sure your pet’s identification tags and microchip information are up to date.

7. Leave candy duty to the adults. Even though you might like to have your furry pal at your side, it’s a good idea to keep your pet away from the front door (especially if there’s a chance he’ll become territorial or frightened and run outdoors).

8. If that sweet face seems to say “trick or treat,” let him have a pet-safe treat, as long as it isn’t out of your loot. Items on the no-list include raisins, chocolate/candy, and treats with artificial sweeteners. (And keep those candy wrappers away too.) Before Fright Night, check out these dangerous foods for dogs at Halloween, compiled by PetMD.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Halloween, pet, Pet Safety

July 15th Is National Pet Fire Safety Day

If you have a plan in place in case of a fire, give yourself a pat on the back—but make sure that plan includes your pet too! Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day, and it’s great time to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect your pet.

Here are a few tips from the American Red Cross and American Kennel Club.

  • Include your pet in your family plan.
  • When you practice your escape plan, include your pet.
  • Prepare a disaster supply kit for your pet.
  • Never leave pets unattended around open flames.
  • Use flameless candles instead of ones lit with real flames.
  • Remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before you leave.
  • Use pet notification clings noting the number of pets in the house.

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Every Day Is Tag Day 2018

Here’s a pet “holiday” you might not know about: Every Day Is Tag Day! Celebrated on the first Saturday in April, this holiday is just a reminder to keep your pets safe by tagging and/or microchipping them.

Even if your pet has a tag, this is a great time to check that your pet’s identification information is correct and up to date. Remember that even indoor pets need ID tags!

Learn more about proper pet identification and microchips at the American Humane Association’s site.

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Bring on Spring! (While Keeping Your Pet Safe)

Spring is officially here! While those cooped-up days of cabin fever might be waning, it’s important to keep a few things in mind before you and your pet savor spring in all its glory. Here are a few springtime pet safety tips from PetMD and the ASPCA.

  1. Keep spring-cleaning chemicals out of pets’ reach. Follow all labels regarding use and ventilation, and don’t forget to store cleaning products properly.
  2. Before you fling open those windows to let the spring air waft into your home, be sure that your windows are snugly screened and that no screens are in need of repair.
  3. Inspect your dog’s leash and collar for tears.
  4. Make sure your pet’s ID information is up to date.
  5. Reintroduce more vigorous exercise slowly so that your pet can acclimate to it.
  6. Keep pets away from recently fertilized lawns and consider pet-safe alternatives. Likewise, keep lawn-care products out of pets’ reach.
  7. Check to see if your pet is up to date on its medications and preventatives.
  8. Keep those Easter staples out of pets’ reach (especially the ubiquitous Easter grass!). Chocolate and artificial sweeteners are harmful to pets; lilies are toxic to cats.
  9. Take your furry pal to the vet if he seems to be suffering from spring allergies.

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Holiday Etiquette for Pet Owners and Guests

There’s plenty of merriment swirling about the holidays, but sometimes the Stress Grinch pokes his nose in too. And with pets in the mix, anything can happen! Whether you’re the holiday host or a visiting guest, common-sense consideration goes a long way. With some careful planning, you can reduce the chance of hurt feelings, uh-ohs, and (let’s hope not) holiday squabbles.

1. If you’re welcoming friends and family for the holidays, be sure to let them know ahead of time that you have a pet. Be considerate if guests have allergies. PetMD suggests the following: Bathe your dog or brush your cat to reduce allergens. Clean your house, and pay special attention to upholstered furniture, carpets, and rugs. Consider making your guest room a pet-free zone where animals are not allowed. Keep over-the-counter allergy medications on hand.

2. Be honest. Your pet might be the family darling, but how does he react around strangers? Is your pet well-behaved or likely to get excited or aggressive amid the holiday hubbub? Vetstreet suggests introducing your pet to guests one-by-one, or simply allowing your pet to observe for a while rather than overwhelming him with a large chatty group. Brush up on obedience training before guests arrive.

3. As tempted as you might be to let your pet join in the holiday meal, keep in mind that certain “people foods” can upset pets’ stomachs and might even be toxic. Ask guests not to feed your pet table scraps, and consider keeping your pet away from the holiday table if the temptation is too great. Review the ASPCA’s list of foods to avoid feeding your pet.

4. Just as you need respite from all the commotion from time to time, your pet can benefit from breaks away from the stress. Vetstreet recommends a walk or other exercise to help him to burn off energy or frustration. A puzzle toy is another option to distract him and relieve holiday tension. Consider creating a little hideaway meant for your pet only (no guests) where he can unwind or get his bearings.

5. If you’re the guest, never assume that you can bring your pet, even if the host has pets or is a pet lover. If it’s okay with the host and other guests that you bring your pet, remember to bring all the accessories you need. Consider the possible extra stress on your host and on your pet, if your pet doesn’t travel well or has trouble adjusting to new situations. Hiring a pet sitter, preferably one who’s watched your pet before, might be the way to go to keep the seasonal harmony.

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Filed under Cats, Christmas, Dogs, Pet Safety

All About Halloween Pet Safety!

Halloween is creeping ever-closer… If you’ve been running around, buying bags of candy, finding just the right costumes for the little goblins in your house, or simply ushering your home decor into the autumn season, you might have overlooked something. Your four-legged friend! Is he ready for the spookiest night of the year? Never fear! We have a Halloween pet safety recap all ready for you. Click on the links below to read our pet safety tips to make this holiday the best (and safest) one yet!

🎃 General Halloween pet safety tips

🎃 Pet Halloween costume safety

🎃 Halloween decorating hazards for pets

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Halloween, pet, Pet Safety

Back-to-School Pet Safety Tips

Are you caught up in the chaos of buying school supplies, planning new schedules, and tackling to-do lists? Keep in mind that this time of year can be a big change for your pet too. Keep your pet safe and healthy during back-to-school time with these suggestions from the ASPCA and PetMD.

1. Keep backpacks out of pets’ reach
If possible, designate an area for children to place their backpacks that is out of the way of pets. Keep school supplies such as pencils, glue sticks, markers, and scissors away from those curious four-legged furballs. Other potential hazards include batteries and medications.

2. Likewise, stash those lunch bags
Remember to keep non-human food away from pets. Don’t let your pet sniff his way into a lunchbox containing grapes, raisins, chocolate, or gum (click here for the ASPCA’s full list of people-only food).

3. Gradually increase your separation time
Slowly let your pet acclimate to more “alone” time, rather than suddenly changing his schedule and leaving him without his buddies for an entire school day. Keep your departure and return low-key, and teach children to do the same. If you remain calm, there’s a better chance your pet will too.

4. Reduce stress and boredom by providing mental stimulation
Leave a safe, sturdy puzzle toy with your dog to keep his mind active. Toys that allow your pet to chew and lick can provide stress relief.

5. Don’t neglect your pet when you are home
Fit in aerobic exercise for your dog or play with your cat each day, preferably before you leave. It’s a great time for you to bond together; plus, if he’s tired, it can help him relax while you’re away. If mornings are too hectic, make sure your pet has some evening exercise to relieve pent-up energy.

6. Consult a veterinarian if needed
If your pet’s separation anxiety is severe, don’t punish your pet. Talk to your veterinarian to determine possible underlying causes and treatment options.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, pet, Pet Health, Pet Safety