Outdoor Pet Safety
By Robert Forto, PhD
This article is re-posted on the request of a client. I will post it again with a few updates as we get closer to the July 4th Holiday next month.
As the busy fourth of July holiday is upon us next weekend, I wanted to take a few moments to talk about outdoor pet safety and the dangers of fireworks around your furry friends. If you have any questions on this topic please consult your local trainer or veterinarian or give us a call at Denver Dog Works at 303-752-2818 anytime. We will also be discussing this topic on our weekly radio show, The Dog Doctor Radio Show and you can download it anytime by clicking here.
Dogs and Fireworks
• Keep your dog inside when fireworks are being let off.
• Close all windows and doors to help keep the noise to a minimum.
• Close the curtains so your pet can not see the flashes.
• Turn on the TV or some music to drown out some of the firework noise.
• Block any dog doors or other ways for your pet to get outside. That way, if they do get scared, they cannot get out of the house and run the risk of being injured.
• Make sure your pet is wearing a form of identification. That way if they do manage to escape, you can be easily contacted when your pet is found.
• Do not take your pet to a fireworks display! They may be part of the family but this is one trip they will be more than happy to miss.
• Do not tie your pet outside during fireworks, even if you are only popping into the house for a minute.
• Take your dog for a walk during daylight when fireworks are less likely to be let off.
• Avoid leaving your pets alone – they will feel safer with you around.
• Stay calm and act normally, this will help your pet to feel safer and lets them know there is nothing to fear.
Now let’s talk about outdoor pet safety.
Many people enjoy outside activities and leisure time with a pet. Here are some simple tips to help keep your dog or cat safe when they enjoy the great outdoors.
Identify your pet. An identification tag is a simple and inexpensive way to put your name and telephone number, as well as the pet’s name, on a collar. The drawback is that tags and collars can come off. Other forms of ID include tattoos and microchips.
Think safety. Unless very well-trained or in an enclosed environment, your dog should be on a leash. Being hit by a car is one of the most common injuries a pet can sustain outside. Do not leave a chain collar or prong training collar on your dog unsupervised as metal rings may become caught on outdoor items. Similarly, do not leave a pet on a run cable or chain near a fence – pets have been known to hang themselves accidentally when they scramble over or jump a too-low fence.
Keep your pet groomed. Spring, summer, and fall all provide the chance for fleas and ticks from the great outdoors to infest your pet. Check your pet’s skin and coat close to the skin for parasites. Using a fine comb will help. Do not shave your pet down to the skin if he or she spends a lot of time outside. Hair provides protection from the sun (a dog can get sunburned), and insulation from heat as well as cold.
Public areas, like parks, require good pet manners. Be sure your pet is vaccinated for rabies, a distemper/parvo combination, and bordetella. Many diseases are contagious through the air or ground contamination. Early socialization in a dog’s life will make him an enjoyable pet to walk and play with around other pets and people. If you know your pet is not friendly, then take steps to prevent any negative interactions with others or find quiet, isolated areas to enjoy your pet’s company alone.
Many pets, especially dogs, like to travel with their owners. Never leave pets alone in hot vehicles, and remember to bring along the leash and water. Although many dogs love to ride with their heads out the window, this can be a source of eye irritation and damage, not to mention a route of escape if they jump or fall from the vehicle.
Keep a pet first aid kit in the glove compartment or trunk for any minor injuries that may occur when you are away from home.
Your dog or cat will love being with you and savors the outdoors as much as you do. A bit of preplanning and using common sense will keep outdoor ventures a happy experience.
This article is provided as a general overview of the topic. Always consult your veterinarian or trainer for specific information related to diseases or medical care for pets. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to give us a call at Denver Dog Works and please be sure to listen to our radio show (Saturday mornings 9:30 am to 10:30 am MDT) or through our website at http://www.denverdogworks.com/
Dr. Robert Forto is the training director for Denver Dog Works and The Ineka Project and the host of The Dog Doctor Radio Show. Dr. Forto can be reached through his website at http://www.denverdogworks.com/