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When you make the decision to become a pet owner, the safety and health of the animal becomes a direct responsibility for you. There are many things to consider when the safety of a pet is at stake–some things may seem obvious, while others are less immediately visible.
One thing every pet owner should be aware of is the dietary restrictions of their pet. For example, dogs cannot eat almonds, chocolate, garlic, or grapes, and dog owners must be careful to restrict access to these foods. The same can be said for any animal. It should always be known what foods can cause your pet harm, and these foods should be handled carefully, and stored securely to avoid falling into the wrong hands (or paws!)
Pet-Proofing the Home
Pet owners should make sure to examine their home to find any possible dangers, such as tight spaces or electrical concerns that a curious pet could find their way into. Dangerous cleaning chemicals and appliances should be kept in places where pets won’t be able to access them. Trash can also have things in it that may make your pet sick and should be kept in secure places. Similarly, some plants may harm certain animals. For example, the pollen in many lilies can be highly toxic to cats. Speaking with a vet, or even some internet searching, can save your pet from harm.
All animals should be kept up to date with medications such as tick, heartworm, and flea preventatives, as well as vaccines. This protects not only your pet, but also you and your home, from parasites. Many medications are now easy to apply and highly effective. Regular checkups with a vet will keep your friend feeling their best and happiest.
Keeping Your Pet’s Location Known
All pets, especially outdoor pets, should wear collars with tags that identify them, and identify you as their owner. In addition, microchipping pets can make it much easier in the event that they become lost. You can also outfit your home with cameras, door sensors, and even pet door sensors to keep track of where you pet may be. Check to see if you can get a free fire detection upgrade with your system and be sure your house is properly protected. For outdoor pets, enclosures such as fences and gates need to be regularly examined for wear and damage, to make sure there are no holes or possible escape routes for curious pets.
Special Considerations for Outdoor Pets
If your pet is an outdoor pet, you’ll need to make a few extra changes. Always examine your yard for hazardous plants that are toxic, or may have features that could harm your pet, such as thorns or burrs. Ensure there are no holes or features in your yard that your pet could fall into or otherwise hurt themselves in. Also, make sure they have access to shade, water, and a comfortable place to rest.
Overall, owning a pet is a highly satisfying experience, and the effort needed to keep your pet safe is certainly worth it in the end. If you have any doubts, always speak with your veterinarian for advice.