Dog Safety Tips: Top 8 Tips To Keeping Your Dog Safe!

By Debra Primovic

If dogs are a man and woman’s best friend, why aren’t we doing more to protect them?

Here are my top 8 tips to keeping your dog safe:

1. Poison-Proof Your Home. Check your home for possible poisons and toxins that your dog can get into. Common toxins include antifreeze, rat or mouse bait, slug bait, and insecticides. Make sure you keep all drugs and medications out of reach. Even household items can be toxic such as the new “Gorilla Glue.” This glue is activated by water and expands to more than three to four times its volume and can expand to fill the entire area in which it is confined. When it hardens, it is rock hard and a pet is unable to eliminate it. If a pet eats it, it can expand it its stomach causing a life-threatening problem that requires surgery!

2. Plant-Proof Your Home. Plants are an attractive part of home decorating; however, it can be toxic to your dog. Be careful what you bring in and monitor if your pet is getting into it. Ingestion of almost every plant can cause signs of vomiting and/or diarrhea in most pets. Plants that are especially toxic are Easter lilies, which can cause fatal kidney failure.

3. Check Collars, Tags, and Microchip. Check your dog’s neck at least once a week to make sure the collar is not too loose or too tight and it is still there. Pets can lose their collar and in many case their “identification” along with it. This is especially important in pets that are growing or losing weight. When you check the collar, make sure there is a tag that is easy to read. Tags can fall off. Consider having a microchip placed for permanent identification.

4. Keep Dogs Supervised. The safest approach is leash walks only for dogs! This way you can not only monitor what they are getting into but also watch their urine and bowel movements for abnormalities. The next safest things for dogs are fenced-in yards. Monitor your yard and fence frequently for problems such as loose boards, open trash, and other dangers. Keep your dog inside in extreme cold or hot temperatures.

5. Don't Let your Dog Ride in an Open Truck Bed. Dogs that are allowed to ride in open bed pick up trucks become frequent victims of trauma. Sudden starts, stops, and turns can toss your pet onto the highway where it can get hit by oncoming traffic. It is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die this way each year. Leashing your pet in the back does not protect it as many dogs have been strangled when tossed over the side. If you pet needs to ride in back, let him or her ride in a crate safely secured to the cab.

6. Keep Head and Paws Inside. Dogs love to stick their heads out open windows; however the wind, insects and debris in the air can hit your pet. Many pets are taken to emergency hospitals after something hits their eyes or face. Many dogs have also been injured during accidents when a sudden start or stop has thrown pets, causing fatal injuries.

7. Pet-Proof Your Home. Prevent common accidents in your home by pet-proofing! Protect your dog from electrical cords. Remove access to children's toys, strings or small objects that can be chewed on or swallowed. Gate or fence water bodies like pools, lakes, ponds or canals. Don't allow pets near automated garage doors. Small dogs can be crushed under reclining chairs and rockers. Keep paper shredders turned completely off or unplugged when not in use as some pets will stick paws in feeder or have hair caught in them, causing very serious injuries.

8. Know What to Do and Who to Call. Find out if your veterinarian performs emergency work after hours and locate your closest emergency hospital. Know the numbers and directions just in case you need it. Call any time you have a pet concern!

With her columns, Dog safety expert, Debra Primovic has helped thousands of dog owners protect their from harm's way. To keep your best friend living longer, stronger check out 8,000+ veterinarian approved articles at: dogs

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