Most dog owners worry about their pets. Some common questions are...
How do I keep them from harm?
What steps should I take to minimize potential issues?
How do I keep my pet healthy?
There is so much information out there; however, it can be difficult to know what advice to follow.
We've created this helpful list of 10 ways to keep your dog safe and healthy, so that you can cut down the research time and focus on taking care of your best friend.
#1 Stay up to date with all vaccinations.
Vaccinations can help avoid costly treatments for diseases that can be prevented.
Prevent diseases that can be passed between animals and also from animals to people. Vaccinating against zoonotic diseases such as Rabies and Leptospirosis not only protects your pet, but you as well.
Diseases prevalent in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pets.
If for some reason your pet gets out of the house without you they will not be identified as homeless.
Anyone who finds him will know how to find you.
A collar provides a way for someone who does happen to find him to restrain him until you can arrive to pick him up.
#3 Get you pet chipped.
This might cost a little.
Having your dog chipped will keep them safe and give you real piece of mind.
Simple process and one which is relatively painless for the animal. Watch here!
A tiny microchip placed under the skin, anyone who finds your dog can have him/her scanned by a vet, and your contact details will then be presented.
Don't forget to keep your contact information up to date.
#4 Keep bugs away.
Your dog will be susceptible to parasites and other nasty bugs such as fleas. These can make your pet's and your life miserable.
Worst case scenario they can seriously affect the health of your dog
Step one call a vet this way he or she can identify any issues and provide a number of solutions. Second, you should take preventative steps. Regular cleaning and bathing will help and purchasing pet-friendly insect repellent.
#5 Know which plants are safe and which plants are toxic!
There are a number of common plants which are actually toxic to pets, so ensure that your garden as well as your home does not contain them. For starters, Lilies and Azaleas can be especially dangerous if ingested by your pet. We recommend leaving them out of your house and off of your property all together.
Whenever you add a new plant to your garden, always research its toxicity with regards to pets, just to be on the safe side.
Know what to do in case your dog does eat something it shouldn't.
Keep the emergency hotline in your contact list. Here's a quick access link ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435. Save it now! (Side note, a $50 fee is added to your phone bill when you call this line, so save yourself some $$ and learn what is toxic.
#6 Store dangerous household products out of reach.
Just like children, pets are curious and do not underestimate just how smart they are.
Smart enough to get into all sorts of trouble with chemicals and cleaners.
Places to check include, garages, under all sinks, storage sheds and any other storage areas where you store the overflow of cleaning supplies.
Ensure that all cleaning products, chemicals and weed killers are securely stored.
Put them somewhere high up out of reach so that your pet doesn't decide to eat them should he or she find their way into that part of your home or part of your property.
Lastly, don't leave polish or other dangerous products lying around while in the process of cleaning, all it takes is one second and it can be taken and swallowed.
#7 Be aware of the reactions you may see from surprising your pet.
Pets are thinking, feeling creatures and have many of the same psychological mind sets as us.
Always be wary of anything which could startle or shock your pet. Ensure that your pet is aware of the people and animals nearby.
A frightened pet can easily revert to a bite reflex even when they are usually docile.
Loud noises such as fireworks can cause a pet to run or fly for safety. Be sure that you are prepared for this by trying to ensure a calm environment. Some vets may recommend you use a relaxing medication, talk with a trusted vet to see what will work best for your pet.
#8 Know your pet.
You need to know your pet. As the pet parent you should learn what your pet likes and dislikes, what makes it nervous and what makes it happy.
Start off by learning body language of the pet you have, dog, cat, bird...
By knowing your pet you can take him or her into appropriate situations that result in a comfortable experience, while monitoring behavior for any signs of health or psychological problems.
In the end the ultimate responsibility for your pet's health and safety is in your hands.
#9 Be sure to put things away.
“The most common thing we see is dogs getting into the garbage or eating something on the counter that they shouldn’t,” says Dr. Carly Fox, DVM, emergency and critical care staff doctor at the Animal Medical Center in New York City.
To prevent your dog from accidentally ingesting something harmful, be sure to keep your place picked up as much as possible.
Put away any hazardous objects or food that is dangerous to pets.
If you’re going to be leaving your pet (especially your dog, because of the lack of litter box training) home alone for longer periods of time during the day, it is worth considering hiring a dog sitter or dog walker.
“These days under most circumstances, that’s probably what I’d recommend for most of my clients,” says Dr. Kwane Stewart, DVM, chief veterinary officer of American Humane.
Dr. Stewart advises trying to maintain your dog’s routine even when your schedule changes.
If you are going to be changing your schedule around or are going to have to spend longer periods of time out of the house, it is important to find a way to keep your dog’s schedule as close to what he’s used to as possible, or to gradually adjust them to your new schedule.
Hiring a dog sitter is a great way to help make sure your dog stays in a healthy routine or can get slowly adjusted to a new one in a way that minimizes their stress.