We can’t be with our dogs all the time, but we sure can try to keep them safe and healthy for as long as they’re around. Whether you have to leave your dog alone at home when you go to work every day or are taking him to relocate or go on a holiday, there are plenty of dog safety measures that you can take to protect him in the best way possible. Extreme weather conditions can also affect your dog’s health. So, we will also provide some of the best tips on how to keep your dog safe, especially during winter and summer months.
Other things we wish to protect our dogs from also include diseases, poisoning, parasites, and getting lost. In addition, natural disasters and emergencies are major events that all dog owners should also be prepared for. We usually prepare emergency kits and evacuation plans for household members, but are you aware that you should also do the same for your pet dogs? This comprehensive article on dog safety would also provide you with essential information on how to keep your dog safe in all situations.
1. Protection from toxins and poisonous substances
Dogs are naturally curious and love to explore their surroundings. This adventurous spirit is precisely why we dog lovers are drawn so much to these creatures. However, it also significantly increases their exposure to poisonous plants and chemicals and toxic substances, which they might ingest if unsupervised. This is why you should never let your dog wander off alone. Some plants like azaleas and lilies actually contain toxins that could be harmful to canines. If your dog roams around your yard, make sure that the garden doesn’t contain any toxic or poisonous plants.
Indoors, ensure the dog safety by putting household cleaning items and other chemicals securely hidden away. Paint, cleaning agents, floor polish, weed killers, and fertilizers could be found lying around or under the sink where your dog may be able to access them when you’re not looking.
Some seemingly harmless snacks could also be poisonous to our furry friends so you and members of your household should be very careful about feeding your pet snacks from the table. Avocado, onions, garlic, and macadamia nuts are just a few examples of food that can make your dog sick.
2. Preventing dog bites
Dog bites increase the risk of rabies and the last thing you want is for your dog to spread the infection. You can prevent your dog from biting people with proper training and ensuring that your pet dog gets enough opportunities to socialize. Even the best-behaved dog may suddenly bite for reasons such as fear, pain, or frustration. As the owner, you should be able to know your dog well enough to detect any signs of stress or anxiety in your dog in any situation.
Members of the household should also know how to behave responsibly around your pet dog. Take measures when taking your dog to a public place. Leash training and basic obedience training goes a long way in preventing any unpleasant and painful dog attacks.
3. Preventing dog fights
Dog fights can arise suddenly and unexpectedly causing disturbance and possible injury to your pet. When taking your dog to public places, or if you have multiple dogs at home, there are some dog safety reminders you should remember to prevent your dog from getting in a fight against another dog fights. Understand the reasons why dogs fight and be able to tell how normal play looks like. Be quick to separate dogs upon the slightest sign of aggressive behavior. As a rule of thumb, keep your dog away from situations where he may feel threatened or uncomfortable, especially if he has previously shown signs of aggression in the presence of other dogs.
4. Dog safety during summer
Summer can be a great time for outdoor adventures with your pet. However, you need to be careful of the dangers of extremely hot temperatures. Dogs may suffer from dehydration, heat stroke, and even sunburns from prolonged exposure to heat. To keep your dog safe during the summer, avoid going on long walks or making your dog do strenuous exercises on extra hot summer days. You can schedule your daily exercise during mornings or evenings when temperatures are much cooler. Should you have to go outside when the sun is out, choose a route where there’s more shade. It would also be a good idea to bring water to keep your dog hydrated.
It’s also during summer when most people go to the beach or the lake, sometimes taking their pets with them. If you’re planning to go swimming with your dog, there are some important dog safety reminders that you must keep in mind. First of all, even if dogs are generally good swimmers, never let your pet out of sight. The water comes with hazards such as jellyfish and undertow. You would want to keep your pet close to you even as you both enjoy swimming and playing in the water. Having your dog wear a life jacket would also be a good idea.
5. Dog safety during winter
Dogs also need special care and protection during the winter months. In the same way, we humans prepare for winter in terms of our wardrobe, your furry companion would most likely be grateful for a snug and comfy doggy sweater. Different dog breeds have varying tolerance to cold weather, but mostly, dog breeds with shorter furs would be the ones craving for heat.
Dogs who have shown symptoms of arthritis would also likely suffer during the winter months. If you have an old dog with this condition, you can make him more comfortable with heated bedding and vet prescribed medication.
Other than the cold, there are some other hazards you must protect your pet dog from during winter. Keeps your dog away from ice or frozen water, which may cause them to slip and sustain an injury. Also, be careful of anti-freeze getting in contact with very little amount could be very dangerous to your dog. Keep these containers secure to keep your dog safe. If you notice signs of anti-freeze poisoning in your dog, including lethargy, vomiting, and difficulty walking, take your dog to the vet immediately.
It’s also important to care for your dog’s feet during winter. The hair on the feet could form ice balls and damage your pet’s paws. If you have a long-haired dog, trim feet hair to a length not longer than the surface of the dog’s foot. Whenever you have to take your dog outside during winter months, make sure to wash off his feet with warm water immediately when you get back. He may have stepped on deicing substances used to make the roads safer for pedestrians.
6. Protection from parasites
Parasites may be tiny but they can have a negative effect on your pet’s health, as well as your family’s. They are not usually difficult to treat, but it’s much easier to prevent your pet dog from getting infected. Fleas and ticks cause skin infections and sometimes, anemia in dogs. Internal parasites like roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms result in more serious symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. Heartworm disease can be fatal if left untreated.
You can protect your dog from internal parasites by taking him to the vet for tests at least once a year. The vet can do a thorough screening for parasites by examining his stool and doing blood tests. Of course, never underestimate the importance of regular baths and grooming. Anti-flea pet products and bug repellants should do well enough to keep most parasites at bay.
7. Dog safety during travel
Dogs are practically treated as family members and sometimes when you have to relocate or go on a long holiday, you have no other choice but to take your beloved canines with you. Whether it is road, air, or sea travel, dog safety would, of course, be a top priority. To prevent any untoward incidents, it’s an absolute must that your dog is restrained, whether in a crate, by a leash, and/or with barriers throughout the trip. If you’re driving, proper restraint would help you focus better as well.
Another important dog safety reminder during road trips is to never leave our dog unattended inside a car. He could suffer from a heat stroke, even if the day isn’t extremely hot. Pets left alone in cars may get bored and engage in destructive behavior that could also cause them harm. Pets inside cars left unsupervised are also in danger of being lost or stolen.
8. Preventing lost/stolen dog
Prevent your pet dog from ever getting lost by making sure they are wearing updated collar identification tags. As an additional dog safety measure, take your dog to the vet to get it microchipped. Studies show that over 52% of lost pets that have been microchipped were successfully reunited with their owners.
You can take dog safety to another level with the help of modern technology. There are now GPS-enabled tracking devices designed specifically for pets. Such a device enables you to locate your pet wherever he may be at any given moment.
Another way to prevent your dog from ever getting lost is by helping him learn basic commands and introducing desired behavior. By investing some time and patience to teaching your pet to behave well, you can have better peace of mind knowing he would be smart enough to stay put and not to run off in panic at the slightest provocation or get himself in dangerous situations. In case you lose your dog for a brief moment during a walk outside or while running an errand, you’d find it much easier to call him back to you if he has had some basic obedience training.
But of course, the best way to prevent your dog from getting lost or stolen is to never allow him to wander off alone. Leaving your dog alone in a car or tied up outside if you must make a quick stop endangers not only your dog but other people as well.
9. Disease prevention
Of course, we want our dogs to always be disease-free and at the peak of health. Another important consideration to dog safety is, of course, ensuring that your pet dog gets regular vet checkups and vaccinations against major diseases. Better not to wait until your dog falls ill before seeing an animal doctor. Take your pet to the vet for annual or semi-annual checkups. This would help in the early detection of any signs or symptoms of potential health problems, dramatically improving the chances of treatment and full recovery.
10. Emergency preparedness
You should definitely have emergency and disaster preparedness measures in place for your pets, as well as for your own family. The first important step is to ensure that your dog is wearing proper identification. In the event of a disaster or emergency and there’s a need to evacuate, never leave your dog locked up or tied up. In case of evacuation, you should at least have an idea on where you could take shelter safely. Shelters don’t typically allow dogs so as part of emergency preparations, find out which hotels or boarding facilities can accommodate your pet in case of an emergency.
Prepare an emergency kit for your dog as well. The kit should contain items like extra leashes, bottled water, dog food, photos of your dog in case you get separated, medical information and vet contact details, phone numbers of boarding facilities, and other pet items.
Knowing all the basic dog safety information is necessary if you want your dog to remain safe and healthy. It’s also important that you know your dog well and be able to tell if he’s exhibiting any signs of stress, illness, or aggression. This would help a lot in the prevention of accidents and tell whether your dog is feeling ill. If you have further health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian. And for the full prevention of any problems, remember to take your dog to the vet for periodic checkups.