By Dr. Skopets, DVM
October Is National Animal Safety and Protection Month. It is a good time to give our pets a critical look and to make sure they are healthy, safe and protected.
Owning a pet is a serious responsibility. We love our pets and most of us consider our pets as family members. We know that we need to feed and take care of our pets. But very often we forget or don’t understand that this is not enough. Usually we obtain our pets as puppies or kittens taken from their mother in young age. Our pets don’t have much chance to learn safe behaviors from their mothers or more senior members of their family or pack. After crates with their mother and siblings, they find themselves in our houses, which is a completely unfamiliar environment full of potential dangers. And it is our responsibility to teach or train our pets safe behaviors and how to avoid hazards.
Safety implies protection from dangers and it has several aspects. We must provide safe environment in the house and outside. Providing a safe environment in the house is similar to childproofing. As with toddlers we need to ensure electrical and fire safety, limit water access, and restrict access to dangerous (e.g. heavy) objects, chemicals, medicines, electricity, etc. Ensuring safety outside involves protection from the extremes of weather, moving vehicles, and many other dangers and hazards.
Fortunately, nowadays, there are plenty of valuable safety tips for all possible dangers and hazards on the internet (see below). It is highly advisable for all pet owners to be aware of this.
- General Safety Rules: https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/general-safety-rules/
- 10 Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays: https://blog.allstate.com/woof-10-pet-safety-tips-for-the-holidays/
- 5 Tips for Dog Safety Around the Home: https://www.petcarerx.com/article/5-tips-for-dog-safety-around-the-home/80
- Top Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe During a Disaster: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/pet-disaster-preparedness#Pet-Emergency-Kit
- Prevention Tips to Keep Pets from Starting Fires: http://www.akc.org/press-center/press-releases/national-pet-fire-safety-day-prevention-tips-to-keep-pets-from-startin/
- Cold Weather Pet Safety: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx
- Hot Weather Safety Tips: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/hot-weather-safety-tips
- 10 Fall Pet Safety Tips: https://www.pethub.com/article/10-fall-pet-safety-tips