Pet Safety Tips

pet safety

Pet safety is a key ingredient to being a pet owner. While we value our pets for what they provide for us, many of us forget that pet ownership carries with it responsibilities. Our pets are dependent upon us to meet their needs; they cannot do this on their own. Proper preparation towards pet safety includes, proper shelter, feeding and, when ill or injured, medical attention. Dogs and cats require quality time spent with their owners at play. Dogs and horses require daily outdoor exercise. Fish and birds are highly susceptible to environmental stress, but may not display symptoms until it is too late to prevent death.

All pet owners should be aware of situations and conditions that might interfere with pet safety. This involves:

* Using common sense when caring for your pets;
* Knowing that domesticated pets such as dogs and cats are neither people nor wild animals;
* Learning as much as you can about the type and breed of pet you have or would like to have;
* Ensuring proper diet and living conditions for your pet;
* Knowing how to interpret your pet’s behaviors so you can be attuned to behavioral changes that might signal a problem;
* Talking to other pet owners who have similar pets;
* Getting veterinary or other expert assistance when you are unsure if there is a problem.

Tips For Pet Safety

Pet safety while riding in a vehicle

Don't let your dog ride in an open truck bed
* Any sudden start, stop, or turn may toss your pet onto the highway where it can get hit by oncoming traffic. It is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die this way each year.
* Open truck beds do not provide any protection from the weather. Hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a pet's paw pads. A dog left sitting in the broiling sun without water or shade may suffer from heat stroke before long.
* Do not leash your pet inside the truck bed -- many dogs have been strangled when tossed or bumped over the side of the truck and been left helplessly dangling.

There was an incident several years ago, that I was an eye witness to and I might add very disturbing to say the least. I was driving with my brother in-law on a 2 lane highway on Long Island, New York. There was a vehicle about 1 mile ahead of us which appeared to be a medium size flatbed truck with fence type sides and rear. What seemed strange was it appeared to have something blowing in the wind off to the rear side of the truck. The closer we got to the truck it became apparent that it was a German Shepard on a leash hanging over the side, strangling. We accelerated to catch up to the truck, beeping the horn, trying to get the driver's attention, to no avail. We pulled up along side the truck into the oncoming lane and finally got the driver to acknowledge our signals and he pulled off the road. Unfortunately it was too late.

Never tie your dog in the back of a truck!

* If your dog must ride in the back of the truck, put the pet inside a crate that will give it some protection from the wind and weather. Tie the crate securely to the walls of the truck bed, so it cannot slide about or be tossed out of the truck.

Keep head and paws inside the car
* Although most dogs love to stick their heads out open windows, wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit into their eyes.
* Insects or flying debris can also lodge in the nasal passages or get sucked into the windpipe.
* It may require veterinary attention to remove the foreign material, which could cause permanent damage.

Restrain your pets in a vehicle
*Unrestrained pets are not only a distraction while operating a vehicle, like climbing in the lap of the driver, they can become a projectile in a collision. After an accident, you would not want to find your pet smashed on your windshield. If you love your pets, do it for them!

Other Safety Tips

Check your pet's collar regularly Collars do not expand, but puppies and kittens grow quickly! If not loosened, collars can literally grow right into your pet's neck, creating an excruciating, constant pain. Check your pet's collars at least every week until it is full-grown (that can be more than a year for really large breeds of dog). You should be able to easily slip two or three fingers between the pet's collar and their neck.

Pet safety
* If you have a cat, be sure to buy a "break-away" collar that can easily separate if it gets stuck on something. This will prevent your cat from being strangled by its collar.
* However, don't let this simple task stop you from putting a collar and an ID on your pet, just in case he slips out.

Don't let your cat play with string
Although a cat playing with yarn can be cute to watch, it can cause serious problems for the health of your cat! Why are cats attracted to string? Cats have an instinctual desire to stalk anything that moves. They like string, thread, yarn, Christmas tree tinsel, ribbon, even shoelaces. This can be great fun to encourage if you supervise their play.

How to avoid death through play
* Supervise the cat's play with items it can choke on.
* Put all tinsel and string out of the reach of your pet.
* Both dogs and cats can choke on small toys, toys that have items that can fall off such as eyes, or buttons.

What to do if the string has been swallowed
* If you see the string hanging from the animal's mouth, do not pull it out. The pulling could cause the taut string to saw through an intestinal wall, possibly subjecting the animal to peritonitis.
* Immediately take your pet to a veterinarian!

Pet safety

Keep your cat indoors

It's a fact that an inside cat lives a longer, healthier life than the kitty that puts paws to the pavement. Outdoor cats face dozens of dangers, including cars, other cats ready to fight for love or territory, and exposure to fleas, ticks, worms, as well as sickness or death from eating spoiled food or household poisons.

More visits to the veterinarian

Outdoor cats need to see the veterinarian more often than indoor cats, and that means higher vet bills. Fleas, ticks, worms, abscesses, cuts, diarrhea, a dull coat, and weight loss are all signs of trouble and are most often seen in outdoor cats. Outdoor cats are more prone to get lost. Not all outdoor cats can find their way home. It just takes one time to get lost.

If you carefully follow these tips you will ensure that pet safety will be the result.

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