Tag Archives: pet safety tips

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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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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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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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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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

Pet Safety: Avoiding Autumn Seasonal Hazards

Does it feel like languid summer where you live, or is there a cool fall nip in the air? Perhaps you and your pet are taking advantage of the break in the heat to get active outdoors, or maybe you’re curled up inside, indulging in a new season of television. Autumn poses its particular challenges to pets, just like any season, but with a few precautions, you’ll still have plenty of fall fun. Take a look at these reminders from PetMD and the ASPCA.

Dwindling Daylight

If only fall didn’t come with fewer hours of daylight! Take care when walking your pet, keeping in mind that the reduced light makes it more difficult for drivers to see the two of you. Wear reflective gear and bring along a flashlight; you might even consider a light-up collar for your pet. Ensure that your pet’s tag and/or microchip information is up to date.

School Supplies

You might feel like your dog needs a refresher on what he learned in obedience school, but he certainly doesn’t need any school supplies! Keep glue sticks, markers, and other school supplies out of pets’ reach. Even an item with low toxicity can be harmful in other ways (as a choking hazard or the cause of a blockage).

Antifreeze

Don’t let your pet be lured by the sweet taste of antifreeze. This temptation is extremely toxic to pets, even in small amounts. Check your car for leaks, clean up spills immediately, and keep your pet away from areas where antifreeze is stored. Seek veterinary attention if your pet ingests it.

Rodenticides

Likewise, rodenticides are toxic to pets and should be used with extreme caution. Place them in an area that is completely inaccessible to pets.

Mushrooms

Most mushrooms are not harmful to your pet, but a small percentage of them are toxic. It’s best to remove them from your yard and to keep your curious pet away from an area where mushrooms are growing. Consult your veterinarian immediately if your pet ingests a wild mushroom.

Fleas and Ticks

Just because temperatures dip doesn’t mean it’s safe to stop your pet’s preventative medication. In most areas, autumn is one of the worst seasons for fleas and ticks. Consult your veterinarian, who will probably suggest that you continue your pet’s flea and tick preventatives year round. Follow label instructions carefully, and use only the dosage that is appropriate for your pet.

Cold Weather

Be aware of cold snaps and drops in nighttime temperatures. Ensure outdoor pets have adequate food, water, and shelter. If you take your indoor pet outside, keep in mind that he may not be able to withstand cooler temperatures for long periods of time.

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New Year’s Eve Pet Safety Tips

You’re ready to ring in the New Year, but is your pet? Your four-legged friend will need some extra attention during this time; all the commotion and revelry might leave him feeling stressed or scared. Make sure you both have a fun, safe start to the New Year with these pet safety tips from the ASPCA and PetMD.

1. Ensure Proper Identification

Make sure your pet’s ID tags and microchip details are up to date. Fireworks or other loud noises might startle your pet, and though you hate to think of him lost, it’s best to be prepared.

2. Give Your Pet a Secure Space

Secure pet gates and provide your pet with a safe, enclosed space away from all the ruckus. This comfort zone should include fresh water and a place to snuggle or “hide” if he gets scared.

3. Avoid Confetti

Remember that those shiny, tempting confetti strings can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, so cross the confetti off your list. No kitty wants to start the New Year with surgery!

4. Provide Your Pet with Soothing Sounds

Give those sensitive ears something other than fireworks and party noise to listen to, such as soothing classical music or a favorite TV show (if your pet has one).

5. Exercise Beforehand If Possible

If the weather permits, take your dog for a walk before the party’s in full swing. Or, enjoy some indoor activities together. Exercise beforehand can help to tire your pet out, so he’ll be calmer before the New Year’s merriment.

6. Furnish Toys or Food Puzzles

Distract your pet from the hubbub with toys that he can play with safely or a food puzzle that will keep him engaged.

7. Remember the TLC!

Comfort your pet if he seems anxious. Speak in soothing tones and be gentle with your affection. You can even give him a few treats when he’s being calm.

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