Being a pet owner is much like being a parent in a sense that keeping your furry baby safe, healthy, and happy is your topmost priority. This is how the term “pet parent” came to be.
There are instances when your precious pup will be exposed to danger because of the things they do and other environmental factors. But while the world is full of these hazards and risks, there is no reason for you to become paranoid.
So long as you keep the following general pet safety measures in mind, your furry friend should be fine:
- Keep your pet leashed in public places
Even after training your dog how to behave appropriately around people, you must never stroll in public places with your dog off his leash.
Remember that even the most well-behaved canine can get distracted by unexpected noises and activities happening around him, and these factors can cause your pet to run away from you. When this happens, there’s a wide array of scenarios that can take place, some of which can be dangerous for your pet (such as your dog crossing the street just as a car passes by).
Besides ensuring your pet’s safety, a leash also serves as a way for you to keep your canine pal away from people and other animals who might be afraid of dogs.
- Monitor your dog’s collar and ID tag
Your dog’s collar and ID tag are more than just cute accessories to match your pet’s adorable little outfits. They are also a means to make sure that he doesn’t go missing – at least, not for very long.
Dog tags serve as your pet’s identification. This is why most countries require pet owners to have them attached to their dogs right after adoption. Besides letting people know that someone is looking after the pup, it will also help you locate him should a sudden emergency arise.
Besides keeping your pet’s collar on, you must make it a habit to check it regularly. Since most collars don’t expand as puppies grow bigger, you need to replace it as your pup grows to avoid subjecting your furry baby to excruciating pain due to a tight collar.
Be sure to check the collar at least once a week until the puppy is fully grown, which can take more than a year for large breeds. The rule of thumb is to make sure that you can easily slip two to three fingers between the collar and the pup’s neck.
There are plenty of tips you can get on how to choose collars and dog tags online, so be sure to do your homework first.
- Check for dehydration regularly
Like people, animals also need to drink lots of water every day. Remember that dehydration is a significant threat to health, even for pets. That said, be sure to watch out for signs that your pup may be dehydrated, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
Besides these, his skin elasticity can also help you determine if your dog needs to be rehydrated right away. Try pulling on the skin on your pet’s back gently. If it doesn’t snap back, your furry baby is dehydrated. In this case, bring him to the vet immediately.
- Be careful what you feed your pet
As a pet owner, you’re responsible for ensuring that your pet only eats food that is good for him. Besides topping up supplies regularly with the help of a reliable dog food delivery service, you should also keep “people food” away from his paws and mouth.
Remember that offering your dog human food doesn’t just promote bad pet manners – it can also be quite dangerous for your furry baby’s health. If you’re not sure which ones to avoid, below is a list of food products that should never be given to a dog:
Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine
When it comes to human food that is dangerous to your pet’s health, coffee, chocolate, and caffeine should be avoided most of all. These three Cs contain methylxanthines from the cacao seed, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and excessive thirst, as well as seizures and death, in dogs.
Any drink or food that contains alcohol is also taboo in dog feeding. While young people find it amusing to have animals drink alcohol, this is nothing short of animal cruelty. The substance can cause not just vomiting and diarrhoea but also tremors, coma, and even death.
Grapes may be harmless for humans, but this food is extremely toxic for animals, especially dogs. All kinds of grapes – even wrinkly raisins – cause irreversible health conditions to canines. In most cases, even a single grape can cause kidney failure, which can lead to death unless prevented by an emergency trip to the vet.
Avocado may be considered a superfood for humans, but it’s not the same for animals.
In fact, every single part of an avocado tree – from the leaves to the fruits – contain persin, a substance that is poisonous to dogs, rodents, and birds. When ingested, persin causes the animal to experience breathing difficulties, which can lead to the build-up of fluid in the lungs and may result in death.
Another extremely poisonous people food that you should never offer your dog is macadamia nuts. Just a few of these nuts can cause tremors, elevated heart rate, vomiting, and hind leg paralysis in dogs. If your pet accidentally eats one, bring him to the vet immediately.
- Stay on top of your dog’s mental and physical health
Physical and mental wellness are equally important in pets. Like people, animals also need regular physical and mental stimulation to stay fit.
For his physical wellbeing, make sure that he gets two exercise sessions every day. Off-leash exercises like swimming, running, walking, and playtime are great for keeping your four-legged baby in shape. Just remember to do this in a secure, pet-safe area.
As for his mental health, you can make him do food puzzles and agility exercises, and teach him new commands and tricks to stimulate his brain. Just remember to steer clear of boring and repetitive activities.
Also, don’t forget to give him rest times and lots of praises for a job well done. Short training sessions are the most effective for dogs, especially when done along with their fur parent.
Be a responsible pet parent
Whether you brought him home as a puppy or adopted him as an older dog, your canine friend will always need your help to remain healthy and safe. This is what every responsible pet parent should keep in mind.
Follow the safety measures listed here to ensure that your canine pal lives a long, healthy, and happy life.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.