Category Archives: 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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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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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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