Category Archives: Pet Safety

Pet Safety Tips for Fourth of July Fireworks

Can you guess the busiest day of the year for many animal shelters in the United States? According to the American Humane Association, it is July 5th—that’s right; the day after the Fourth of July. This year, make a “pledge” that your pet will not be among the many that flee their homes in a panic after unsettling firework celebrations begin. Here are just a few tips, including some from the AVMA and the Humane Society, to keep your pet safe this Independence Day.

1. Make sure that your pet has a properly fitting collar with an attached ID tag and that all the information is up to date; likewise, check that all microchip information is current.

2. Take a picture of your pet so that you have a current photo just in case.

3. Earlier in the day, take your dog for a walk or run (but be vigilant about the summer’s heat and don’t overdo it). Exercise will help calm him and tire him out before the fireworks start.

4. Don’t take your pet to firework festivities or set off fireworks around your pet. Keep your pet indoors where he is safe; if possible, bring your outdoor pet indoors.

5. Keep exterior doors, pet doors, and windows shut to prevent a terrified pet from escaping outdoors and running away from the fireworks.

6. Lower blinds and cover windows so the bright lights of the fireworks don’t distress your pet.

7. Make sure your pet has a safe place in an interior room where he can retreat. Your pet may prefer a small, enclosed area to “hide” when he’s scared.

8. Place your pet’s favorite toys or familiar blankets nearby for comfort.

9. Turn on a calming television show, soothing music, or even a fan to help block out some of the firework noise.

10. Provide your dog with a safe chew toy to distract him and ease anxiety (and make sure cords are out of the way so they don’t become chew toys).

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, pet, Pet Safety

Pet Safety Tip: Use LED Flameless Candles!

To your pet, there are just so many interesting sights and smells in your home to explore—but that candle burning atop your table shouldn’t be one of them. Some rowdy playing nearby or a swish of that furry feline tail, and (oops!) you could have a real mess and dangerous situation on your hands.

Opt for flameless candles instead! Most battery-powered LED flameless candles provide a warm, flickering glow but are not hot to the touch. You don’t have to worry that if the candle is tipped over, the flame will start a fire. You don’t have to be concerned that your curious pet will get burned from the flame or the hot, dripping wax. And finally, you won’t be exposing your pet to potentially harmful fumes (some flameless candles are scented, so you may want to opt for unscented varieties).

Stock up on LED candles for a safer environment in your home. Flameless candles can be used in mantel displays, centerpiece arrangements, lanterns, wall sconces, and even seasonal decorations.

LED Flameless Candles

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

March Is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Are you starting to get the “spring cleaning itch” but feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect? Why not start by making sure that potentially harmful foods, medicines, and household chemicals are out of the reach of your pet? After all, spring with your pet should be a happy time!

Recommended by PetMD and the ASPCA, here are just a few steps you can take to protect your pet:

1. Keep pet medications and human medications stored separately so there’s little chance of a mix-up.

2. Take the time to read the label carefully before giving your pet medicine.

3. Keep medications locked in cabinets, rather than on the counter or table.

4. Review the ASPCA’s list of “people foods” that can be toxic to pets. Make sure these items are kept away from your pet.

5. Make sure household cleaners, paint, automotive fluids, and even cosmetic items like nail polish remover are not accessible to your pet.

6. Be aware of which plants can be dangerous to your pet, including household plants, seasonal decorations, and lawn and garden greenery.

7. Research safer insecticide alternatives. Read the labels of lawn and garden products to determine if they are toxic to pets, and follow instructions carefully. Store these products out of the reach of pets.

8. Keep pets out of garbage cans and compost bins. Ensure that your garbage can is tamper-proof and that your pet can’t open it.

9. If you must use a rodenticide, follow instructions carefully and make sure your pet cannot reach the treated area. Properly dispose of dead rodents before your pet can get to them.

10. Know the symptoms of pet poisoning. Have a plan in case of accidental poisoning, and be ready to act fast. Keep your veterinarian’s information and other emergency numbers, like a pet poison hotline, readily accessible.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Pet Safety

January Is National Train Your Dog Month

Did you adopt and welcome a dog into your home for the holidays? Kudos to you for giving him a forever home with lots of compassion and love. If January has been an adjustment period for you both, it’s a good time to remind you that January is National Train Your Dog Month.

This campaign was started in 2010 by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers to help pet parents and their new dogs start the year off right. Their belief was that behavioral issues with a new pet could be addressed with proper socialization and positive training—and that this could help dissuade owners from abandoning or surrendering a new pet to a shelter. Of course, even if your pet isn’t a new member of your household, you can still take the time to brush up on commands and training.

Click here to learn more about National Train Your Dog Month!

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Filed under Dogs, Pet Adoption, Pet Safety

Christmas Decorations and Pet Safety

Do you love digging out the Christmas decorations and turning your home into a holiday wonderland? Do you wrap presents like an origami master? If the holiday season is your time to shine, then enjoy every moment to the fullest—just remember that you might need to make a few alterations and substitutions if you have a furry friend in the house.

Here are a few seasonal decorations and accessories to avoid or to keep out of your pet’s reach, according to the ASPCA and PetMD. Together, you and your pet can have a safe and paw-some holiday!

Harmful or toxic plants:

  • Amaryllis
  • Holly
  • Lilies
  • Mistletoe

Poinsettias are not as harmful as people often think; however, they can still make your pet mildly sick.

Fire or burn hazards:

  • Electrical cords
  • Lighted candles (try LED flameless candles instead)
  • Lights on the lower branches of your tree

Choking risks or dangers to the digestive tract:

  • Breakable ornaments
  • Edible tree decorations like cranberry and popcorn
  • Liquid potpourri and sachets
  • Pine needles
  • Ribbons
  • String
  • Tinsel
  • Wire hooks
  • Wrapping paper

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Filed under Cats, Christmas, Dogs, Holiday Decor, pet, Pet Safety

Halloween Decorations and Pet Safety

Halloween is drawing near, and you might feel like the most prepared pet owner. You’ve updated your pet’s ID tag or microchip, you’ve done a trial run to make sure your pet’s costume fits, and you’re planning to keep your pet away from the front door and any candy. But have you examined your Fright Night decorations?

Keep these Halloween decorations and accessories out of your pet’s reach (or skip them altogether). The following items are potentially dangerous to pets, according to the American Animal Hospital Association, the Humane Society, and PetMD.

Fire or burn hazards:

  • Electric cords
  • Open flames, like those in a candle or lit pumpkin

Choking risks or dangers to the digestive tract:

  • Batteries
  • Candy wrappers
  • Cardboard wall hangings
  • Crepe paper streamers
  • Fake cobwebs
  • Glow sticks
  • Plastic spiders
  • Potpourri
  • Ribbons and strings
  • Rubber eyeballs
  • Strung lights

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

10 Ways to Comfort and Care for a Senior Pet

Is your pet in its golden years? You two have been through a lot together, and now you want to ensure that your pet is as comfortable and happy as possible. Or perhaps you’ve recently welcomed an older pet into your home – high-paw for you! The most important thing you can do for your senior pet is to schedule regular vet visits. Here are other ideas from PetMD and the AVMA.

1. Exercise

Keep your pet at a healthy weight, improve his mood, and stave off arthritis with exercise. PetMD recommends starting with walks of 10-15 minutes each, then gradually increasing the length. Keep in mind that regular, low-impact exercise is what your pet needs in his golden years, rather than strenuous activity. Consult your veterinarian if your pet has difficulty exercising.

2. Cushioned bedding

Has it been awhile since you updated your pet’s bedding? Remember that elderly pets may need extra or special bedding to cushion their achy joints. Consider an orthopedic pet bed to help soothe your pet’s aches, and make sure he can get in and out of it easily.

3. Heated bedding

While you’re on the search for new pet bedding, what about a pet bed that’s heated? A cozy, gently heated pet bed can provide therapeutic relief for achy elderly pets, or simply a warm place to nestle in during the winter. If an entirely new pet bed is not in your budget, consider a bed warmer, which is placed in the existing pet bed for toasty comfort.

4. Dental care

Take care of your pet’s chompers! If you brush your pet’s teeth regularly, keep up the good work. And if you’ve fallen behind, start with a vet exam and professional cleaning. If your pet can’t stand brushing, consider dental treats and toys.

5. High-quality diet

Feed your dog or cat healthy, nutrient-rich meals that are appropriate for his age and lifestyle. Consult your veterinarian about your pet’s dietary needs and stick to the plan, be it a low-sodium diet or one lower in calories.

6. Mental stimulation

Keep your pet’s mind sharp and prevent boredom with mental stimulation. Teach your pet new, low-impact tricks and engage him in interactive play. If he’s friendly and socialized, let him explore new places where pets are allowed. Stimulate his mind with new toys and food puzzles. Consider replacing old, hard toys with softer yet durable alternatives that are kinder to sensitive teeth and gums.

7. Physical contact

A little affection goes a long way! Boost your pet’s mood and increase the bond between pet and owner with physical contact. In addition to pats, snuggles, and belly rubs, remember to groom your pet to keep him looking and feeling his best.

8. Sweater or coat

Have you long-scoffed at dogs in clothes? Certainly, some breeds tolerate the cold better than others, and canine attire is not right for every dog. But senior pets can struggle with cold temperatures in drafty homes or during short trips outdoors. If your pet can tolerate clothing, he might be more comfortable with that extra insulating layer provided by a sweater or coat. Choose attire that’s easy to wash, and avoid itchy fabrics and ill-fitting garments; make sure your pet can move comfortably and won’t trip.

9. Easy accessibility

Find little ways to make everyday life easier on your senior pet. If she has difficulty climbing onto couches or beds (assuming she’s allowed) or into a vehicle, consider pet stairs or a pet ramp. Even something as simple as moving your cat’s litter box to an easy-to-access area can be helpful.

10. Carpeting over slippery floors

A young, acrobatic pet might rebound quickly from a slip or skid, but don’t expect the same from your senior pet. For him, a fall can be serious and reduce his quality of life. So take some precautionary measures, and add traction to slippery floors with rugs or carpeting. If this isn’t an option, consider outfitting him in non-slip dog socks that have a gripper surface on the bottom.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Fitness, Pet Beds, Pet Health, Pet Safety