One of the things I do during the summer is emergency service calls to unlock pets or children from vehicles. If the person can’t afford it, I never bother them about it, because it’s something I can do to help save a life.
Pets are surprisingly clever when it comes to locking the doors if the driver just steps out of the car for a moment to collect the mail from the mailbox. That’s all it takes. Rover puts a paw on the driver's lock button and the driver is left standing there with his water bill in his hand. Lockout! So, if your pet has their own seatbelt, use it. If not, considering getting one. The short time it takes for a dog or child who is locked in a car to becomes overheated is frightening.
Now that the public service announcement is over, there are a few other things about pet safety that always make great reminders. I know most people take wonderful care of their pets, so, these safety tips are for people who just got a pet for the first time, or have a pet after not owning one for a long time.
- Licensing. Not only is licensing a dog the law, but it shows others the dog has had his rabies shots. The money is used to help animal shelters.
- A collar with the owner’s phone number. Nothing is more distressing than a lost pet. A lost pet without a collar is a worry for the pet owner and the person who finds the animal running loose without a collar.
- Regular vet visits. Not just for those pesky rabies shots, but also for spaying/neutering, wellness checks, and heartworm medicine.
- A leash. Not only is it the law, but sometimes people are nervous when they see a dog who isn’t on a leash. Even if a dog is friendly, they’re an unknown, and the unknown is scary for others.
- A pet’s feet. It's kind of hard to realize that a dog is walking around ‘barefoot’ in the house all the time. When they get outside and get on hot asphalt, their feet can burn to blistering. So, it’s best to keep them off of hot pavement, hot sand, the back of a truck in the summer, and other places where they can burn their paws.
Some people like to have a pet camera--either a camera they can use to interact with their pet while they’re away from home, a camera that lets them watch their pet, or even a camera the pet wears so they can see life from a cat’s perspective.
Experts say crating a dog when they’re young gives them the ability to self-comfort by going into their crate if they become tired or overstimulated. It’s like having a room of their own.
Sometimes people like to put a microchip on their pet in case the animal gets lost and the collar slips off, or to prevent theft of the animal, especially more expensive breeds.
Toys, water fountains, beds, and scratching posts all bring joy to our pets. Since they bring us so much joy, being able to keep them safe is a priority.