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Easy steps to protect your pet

 
Our dogs and cats are precious, so we want to keep them free from harm. Know the smartest ways that you can shield yours from danger.
 
People often adopt a dog for protection as well as companionship, yet dogs — and cats — need our protection, too. These are essential ways to care for your pets’ safety and well-being.
 
Identify Your Pet
 
Pets can get lost or stolen. You stand the best chance of bringing yours home safely by providing them with multiple forms of identification. A pet who wears a collar with a collar tag shows the world that they belong to a family. Yet collars can come lose or be pulled off. You can permanently identify your pet by having your veterinarian inject a microchip. For the most complete coverage, register your pet’s microchip ID number with HomeAgain and keep your membership active.
 
Choose Trustworthy Help
 
When you need to choose a veterinarian, groomer, pet sitter, boarding kennel or any other pet-care professional or business, ask other pet parents for recommendations. Once you have a referral, contact the individual in charge and ask for references — and call them. But don’t stop there: visit a facility yourself before taking your pet and ask to inspect it. Look for a place that looks and smells clean, is not overcrowded and will not cause your pet undue stress.
 
Alert First Responders
 
If you were away when a fire broke out in your home or a natural disaster occurred and could not reach your pet in time, who would know there was a dog or cat inside? Affix a pet safety alert decal or sticker to your front door to inform firefighters, police and other first responders of the presence of a pet that needs to be rescued and provide a cell phone number where you can be reached.
 
Keep Cats Indoors
 
While it’s fine to walk a cat on a leash (if your cat agrees), roaming alone can put cats in danger’s way. When you keep a cat indoors, he or she doesn’t run the risk being hit by a car, attacked by other animals, or abused by kids. House cats are less likely to pick up parasites or a disease.
 
Protect Pets in Cars
 
When you need to take the cat to the vet or the dog on vacation, plan for their safety and comfort in advance. It’s dangerous for a driver as well as the dog or cat to allow one to be unrestrained in a car. A cat should be in a carrier that offers plenty of breathing room and a dog is safest in a padded harness in the back seat.
Also, never leave a pet alone in a parked car when it’s hot outside. Even when the temperature is a comfortable 78 degrees outside, the temperature can quickly soar to over 100. In fact, more than a dozen states make it illegal to leave a dog unattended in a parked car when it endangers the dog’s health.
 
 
By taking these steps, you can help your pet to live a longer and healthier life.

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