Safety Tips Every Pet Parent Should Know

Pet owners want the best for their favorite little furry friends. But the world, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, can include some hazards that pets on their own just don’t know how to navigate safely. 

They don’t know that a quick walk to the mailbox on a hot day could burn their paws, or that certain foods that fall in front of them might make them sick, or that they should get their teeth professionally cleaned every year — even if they don’t like it. 

These are the things that pet owners have to figure out. At Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit, we know that pet parents have a lot to remember, so we’ve put together a list of handy tips to make sure your pet is as safe and healthy as possible. 

Sure, we specialize in budget-friendly pet care, but we also want to make sure you are keeping your pet safe in-between visits. This guide will help with dog safety and cat safety whether they’re at home, in the car or having fun outdoors. 


Creating A Safe Home Environment

Pets very likely spend the majority of their lives at home, which is why it’s so important to make sure that home is safe. For starters, make sure the plants you have inside your home are not hazardous or poisonous to them. If they are, make sure they are secure or find a way to rehome the plant. Common indoor plants that could be harmful to animals include lilies, tulips and aloe vera, while toxic outdoor plants include oleander, rhododendron and daffodils.

In addition, taller plants that may be unstable or aren’t secured, could topple in a home where cats live or where dogs could get the zoomies.

Hazardous chemicals need to be secure and kept in a place that curious animals can’t access them, and if you happen to have a dog that likes to chew on things — from shoes to remotes to books and beyond — make sure that those items aren’t available or left out when they’re home alone to prevent choking or the ingestion of something that shouldn’t be swallowed. 

It is also recommended that pet owners restrict access to certain areas of the home when an animal is left home alone. Some owners utilize crates for dogs, and if they do, the crate should be big enough to allow the dog to stand and fully turn around. If a crate isn’t the answer, a gate might work to close off a certain area of the home, or simply closing doors to bedrooms and bathrooms also works. 

As for the backyard, it is recommended that fences be secure for a number of reasons. Timid or anxious dogs may get spooked more easily and find any opening or vulnerability in a fence to slip through and run free. In addition, electric fences keep animals in but don’t keep visitors out. So it’s important to understand your dog’s temperament when choosing the appropriate fencing option. It should also be noted that fences with broken edges or holes could create an opportunity for injury for your pet. 

Travel + Exploring

Road trips, particularly in the summer, are fun ways to include pets on an exciting journey. However, it’s important to make sure the vehicle has space to secure the animal, because sitting on the driver’s lap is not a safe option. And, animals should never be left in a hot car, even when the temperature isn’t all that hot outside. 

During the summer months, concrete can heat up well beyond the air temperature, creating an unsafe surface for paws. Be mindful of what time of day you choose to walk your dog, or outfit your dog with booties that protect their paws from getting burned. In addition, dogs are susceptible to skin damage from the sun. With that in mind, pet owners should pick up pet-safe sunscreen if they plan to be exposed to the sun for an extended period.

Not only should you protect your pup’s feet, but it’s also important to remember that they can get dehydrated and experience heat exhaustion, too. Make sure your dog and cat always have access to water, especially if they are outside for any extended periods. 


Health + Dental

Vaccines are usually top of mind for dog and cat owners as they settle into their new lives together, whether the animals are puppies and kittens or full grown. Many times, the adoption of grown dogs and cats include up-to-date vaccinations, which makes life easier.

With puppies and kittens, those vaccines are up to the pet owner. It’s important to connect with a veterinarian to determine what is needed, but vaccines that protect against rabies, distemper, parvo and hepatitis are critical for dogs. For cats, rabies, distemper, herpes and calicivirus are the most important vaccines. 

Regular check-ups are recommended throughout a dog or cat’s life, and access to affordable surgical care — like that offered at Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit — is also helpful. You never know when you may need it, but if you do, it’s nice to have someone to turn to. 

Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit is a trusted veterinary team serving the Phoenix, Peoria, East Mesa and Tucson metro areas, with accessible locations in each market, offering highly specialized surgery, quality spay and neuter procedures, and accessible dental care for pets. Contact us to learn more about our specialized services or to schedule an appointment.   

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