Shepherd Photo by Christoph Schmid on Unsplash
February may be Responsible Pet Owners Month; but these basics of dog ownership hold true for all twelve months of the year. We’ve talked about health already; next let’s explore how to keep our pets safe. Protecting our dogs from harmful situations is of great importance. Here are some ways you can be a responsible dog owner:
- It’s a good idea to get your dog microchipped. This small chip is inserted under the skin and is a painless way to ID your dog. If found by a stranger, vets and humane societies can easily scan the dog for a chip to find your contact information and get your pup returned home quickly.
- ID tags are an easy and inexpensive way to get your dog home safely in the event he pulls a Houdini on you. We’ve picked up more loose dogs than we care to count and it’s nice to have the tag with owner’s name and phone on it to get them home. Tags, however, may fall off. You may wish to go with an added layer of security: a collar on which name and phone number can be engraved. We offer a number of stylish options. Check out our personalized dog collars to find yours.
- Have current photos of your dog on hand so that you can spread the word if he gets lost. These will also come in handy as proof of ownership as you go to claim your lost pet.
Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash
- If your dog called “shotgun!” when you said you were headed to the store, that’s cool. Just be sure he rides in his crate or is buckled in with a seat belt specially made for his size. Off Leash Dog Boutique carries seat belts in many sizes on our Travel page. We covered some road trip travel tips in our Dog Travel – Driving post. Check it out for more info.
- If your dog is going to spend some time romping in the snow or basking in the sun (depending on the season), be sure he’s comfortable. That means, a shady spot during the warmer months or shelter from the elements, clean, fresh water provided frequently and, if it’s winter, make sure there is a warm, dry place to hunker down – preferably with a nice warm blanket and heat source or insulated dog house. We covered this topic, too, in our Winter Dangers for Dogs post in December.
- Make a disaster plan. Your dog is part of your family and you want to take her with you in the event of a fire, flood or other natural disaster. Many dogs were displaced and lost in last year’s hurricanes. You can prevent this by checking the local shelters to see if they allow pets and, if not, make arrangements in advance with friends or family members who can accommodate your dog’s sleepover until things get back to normal.
- Wills are important for many families. When composing yours, don’t forget about arrangements for your dog in the event something happens to you. You should think about this in case an incapacitating illness befalls you as well. Don’t just assume a family member can care for your dog.
Do you have other measures you’ve taken to ensure the safety of your dog? Tell us about them here! We always love hearing from you!