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10 Best Tips for Pet Care and Pet Safety

Ideas to inspire

by Tami Nantz | Art of the Pet | 1 year, 2 months ago

If you're a pet lover, this collection of tips is for you! We all love spending the long, summer days outdoors with our furry companions.  Below, we’ve outlined a few tips on how to be proactive with pet care during this season.

1. Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car even for a minute

Parked cars are death traps for dogs. The car becomes an oven even if it’s in the shade. On a warm day, the temperatures in a parked car can reach 120 degrees even with the car windows partially open. On a 78 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100-120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90 degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation in a matter of minutes when confined in high temperatures. Plus, a dog may get overly excited in the car due to people passing by or panic from claustrophobia, which can expedite dehydration, heatstroke, and death. Every year dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car, even for “just a minute.” It’s NEVER a good idea to leave your pet unattended in a car, even during the winter months, because someone may break into your car to either steal your dog or steal the car with your dog inside, never to be seen again.

2. Always provide ID for your pets

Make sure your pet has a collar with ID tags/contact information, as well as a microchip in case your pet gets lost and the tags fall off. The collar and tags help ID your pet immediately so the owner can be contacted, and the microchip is additional identification and peace of mind. However, some people don’t know about microchips and they won’t have the pet scanned, so it’s always a good idea to have both forms of ID. Also, people are more likely to help a pet with a visible collar and pet ID tags since that usually means there is someone looking for their lost pet.

3. Never put your in the bed of a truck without a crate, tie down, or cross-tethering

Without a doubt, it’s always better to let your dog ride inside the truck cab with you. However, if you choose to put them in harm’s way in the bed of your truck, just remember that an untethered dog in a pickup truck bed can easily become a projectile if the driver has to slam on his brakes, swerve to avoid something in the road, or hits an unexpected bump in the road causing the dog to fall out and be killed or seriously injured. An untethered dog could also jump out of the open truck bed while it’s moving if he happens to see a cat, squirrel, or another dog he wants to chase. Make sure the tether is not too long because the dog can fall out and be dragged behind the truck resulting in death or serious injury. Even if the dog doesn’t fall out, they can suffer bruises from continually hitting the hard walls of the truck bed. In addition, the wind can blow dirt and debris into the dog’s eyes and ears causing damage or injury. If your dog is left unattended in an open truck bed, he can be stolen, antagonized by someone, and even a well-meaning child who reaches toward your dog, invading his territory, may be asking for a bite from an otherwise loving pooch.

4. Never walk your dog in the heat of summer

Dogs do not have the ability to sweat or cool themselves except through very small amounts in their paw pads and by panting. This means they can be 30 times more sensitive to the heat. If you do walk your dog during warmer weather, be sure to walk very early in the morning and always take water with you to keep your dog hydrated. Brachycephalic dogs (those with short, wide snouts and flat faces) are at an increased risk to heat-related health issues. If it’s over 80 degrees outside, do not take them for a walk. In addition, overweight dogs, older dogs, and sick dogs are more at risk to heat stroke resulting in possible death. Early morning walks are also easier on their feet because the hot pavement can burn the pads of their feet which is very painful. A dog’s paws can be just as sensitive as our feet. At 125 degrees skin destruction can occur in 60 seconds. AIR TEMP ASPHALT TEMP 77 degrees 125 degrees 86 degrees 135 degrees 87 degrees 143 degrees

5. Never leave your pets out in the cold or heat 

If it’s too cold or too hot for humans to be out, then it’s too cold or too hot for your pets. They should never be left outside for any length of time during extreme cold or extreme heat conditions. They deserve to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

6. Never leave your dog chained

Chaining a dog is inhumane and unsafe. Dogs are social beings who thrive on interaction with people and animals. Being chained can make dogs anxious, depressed, and can suffer psychological damage. In addition, the chain can get caught on something thus preventing your dog from being able to move, get to his water bowl, or go inside his dog house. It can also strangle the dog or prevent him from escaping an attack from a stray dog or wildlife such as coyotes and wolves. Dogs need to be able to have the freedom to run and play, find shelter, and flee from danger. Texas state law addresses chaining (TX HEALTH & SAFETY 821.076-081).

7. Never yell at or hit your dog and never use a crate as punishment

Dogs are sentient beings so they can get scared, confused, and upset when a person yells at them and some tend to shut down. In addition, dogs should not be sent to their crate as punishment. When they are forced to go to their crate as a type of discipline, it confuses them. Their crates should be a place they enjoy. Utilize positive reinforcement as a disciplinary method, not negative.

8. Never advertise dogs or cats for free

There are many dangers when trying to rehome a pet as “FREE TO GOOD HOME” on Craigslist, on Facebook, in a newspaper, or anywhere. People who torture and kill animals will search “FREE” ads for new victims. They may be used as bait animals for dog fighting. People who sell animals to laboratories for research, testing, and experimentation look for “FREE” advertisements. Someone may take the “FREE” pet to sell for profit and the pet ends up in an abusive home. “FREE” dogs who are not spayed and neutered can end up in cruel puppy mills, thus a horrific life of cruelty, suffering, and early death.

9. Always spray and neuter your pets

The world is overpopulated with unwanted dogs and cats and, as a result, millions are euthanized in shelters every day. Thousands of dogs and cats die cruel, painful deaths on the street every day from starvation, heartworm, mange, infections, gun shot, or getting hit by cars. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that animal shelters care for 7.6 million dogs and cats every year in the U.S. and 2.7 million are euthanized. In addition, breeders add to the problem of homeless dogs and cats so don’t shop or buy while homeless pets die! Opt to adopt!

10. Rule of three when adopting a dog.

Adopted dogs take three days to decompress, three weeks to learn your routine, and three months to feel at home. Give them that chance with love, patience, and understanding!

Got some pet care and safety tips you would like to share? We’d love to hear it! Comment or tag us in a post on Instagram and Facebook.