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.