15 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe

Home15 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe

By

Savanna Bradford

Jan 10, 2024

3 min read

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No matter how hard you try, your furry friends will get into shenanigans. We’ve researched 15 ways to keep your pets safe, even when they’re feeling adventurous.

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Image: Rebecca Edwards, SafeWise

1. Avoid poisonous plants
Although festive plants may add a dash of color to many occasions, they can be highly toxic to your furry friends. Plants such as amaryllis, holly, mistletoe and even Christmas trees can irritate your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting, seizures, high blood pressure and tremors. For the safety of your animal, it’s essential to research various plants before adding them to your collection or make sure that they’re out of reach.

2. Keep electronics and cords out of reach
Keep all cords and other potentially hazardous electrical items out of your cat or dog’s reach. A plugged-in, uncovered cable could quickly become fatal or cause harm to your pets with a bit of gnawing. Even if a cord is unplugged, chewing on the coating and the copper wire inside can cut and tear an animal’s gastrointestinal tract, causing irreversible damage to their organs.

3. Cover trash cans
Cover trash cans with a lid or keep them in a latched cabinet. Pets can often get into trash cans and consume items that are poisonous or that are choking hazards.

4. Thump on your car hood
Thump or knock your car hood to flush out any cats that may have found shelter in your engine compartment or wheel wells. Because cooling engines provide warmth, cats often seek shelter in vehicle compartments.

5. Put away poisons and choking hazards
Never leave small objects and chemicals out near an unattended animal. Bits like string, batteries, laundry, lotion and even food wrappers are all potentially deadly for an unsupervised pet.

6. Put safe flowers and plants in the garden
Certain plants with alkaloids in their bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, are toxic to dogs. Ivy, lilies, aloe, and poinsettias are not cat-friendly and should stay out of reach from your furry friend.

7. Never leave your pets in a parked car
A car’s temperature can rise fast even with the windows open or the air conditioning on. According to the Humane Society, on an 85-degree day with the windows slightly open, a car can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes or less. This type of heat can cause organ failure, brain damage or even death for a furry friend.

8. Keep your pet cool indoors and out
Cats and dogs regulate their body heat differently than humans by panting and sweating through their feet. It is important to keep them cool with fresh water, ample shade, or even a cooling wrap or mat.

9. Limit exercise on hot days
Dogs can experience heat stroke due to hot pavements and sidewalks because they regulate body temperature through their feet. The hot surfaces can also cause blisters and burns on the pads of your pet’s feet, so limit their exercise on a hot day.

10. Watch the humidity
When animals pant, the moisture from their lungs evaporates, aiding in regulating their body temperature. When the humidity increases, their lungs have more moisture, causing pets to overheat instead of cooling off. Take your pet’s temperature to determine if they are overheating. If your dog’s temperature is over 104, you should take action fast by giving your dog a cold bath or ice cubes to lick.

11. Check and protect their paws
During winter, salt and other chemicals used to melt snow can irritate your pet’s paws if stepped on and their mouth if licked. You can wipe their feet with a damp towel to prevent irritation. Cold weather can also lead to dry and cracked pads on pets’ feet. You can fix this problem with a smattering of pet-safe moisturizer.

12. Provide proper pet nutrition
Providing your pet with the proper food type and amount can reduce the chances of obesity-related illnesses and increase their lifespan. Higher-quality pet food can support a healthy digestive tract and boost your pet’s immune system. According to the Harris County Humane Society, pets should not consume more than 10% of their daily calories in treats to have a more balanced diet.

13. Get regular checkups
Regular visits to the veterinarian are vital to the overall physical wellness of your cat or dog. Checkups include various screenings to spot warning signs for serious illnesses and diseases.

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14. Take preventive measures
In addition to veterinary checkups, preventive measures can keep your pet safe, too. Preventive medications decrease the chances of illness due to fleas, ticks and heartworms. Dental chews and brushing your pet’s teeth also help to fight periodontal diseases by getting rid of plaque and built-up bacteria that can lead to more severe health issues.

15. Prioritize socialization
Socializing your pet from a young age reduces antisocial, fearful and aggressive behavior that can lead to fights with other animals and humans. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, socialization of your pet from a few weeks old to about 18 weeks is critical for their behavioral development.

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Written by

Savanna Bradford

Savanna Bradford is a writer trained in animal care and husbandry. Her writing specializes in science, animals and tech.

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