Actions You Can Take
For those of us with pets, we make choices about when and how they travel with us.
Airline travel is simply not an option for me. I have an anxious dog above the weight limit and size to fit under a seat. And sometimes the duration of the trip means I won’t be leaving Ginger at home.
Which leads me to today’s topic: pet travel safety. January 2nd is designated as Pet Travel Safety Day. It is a day to remind those of us who load our pets up into our vehicles that we should take precautions to make sure we all arrive at our destinations safely.
While we may think we are giving our pet freedom by allowing them to roam untethered in our vehicle, we are actually setting up a potentially fatal event if a crash occurs.
Impact. According to a Forbes article a car crash at 25 mph can turn a 75 pound dog into a missile with an impact force of 3,000 pounds.
Loose Pets. Maybe that sounds scary for a large dog, but what if you happen to have a small pet that rides on your lap? The impact of an airbag going off between your body, the pet, and the steering wheel can kill a small dog. And the likelihood that a small pet could be ejected from an open window or flung into a windshield increases with them roaming freely.
Perhaps you are already harnessing your pet when you travel. Do you know how your harness holds up in a crash?
According to the same Forbes article, a study by the Center for Pet Safety and Subaru found only one harness that provided the appropriate level of protection to both the people and the pets in the car: Sleepypod. Check out their car harness options at https://sleepypod.com/car-harnesses .
Additionally, several car manufactures have their own safety options for pets. Check out Jeep, Jaguar, and Land Rover or take advantage of the Subaru version of a safety harness through the Sleepypod website.
No matter where your travels take you, if your pet is going along be sure to harness them for their safety and yours.
As we head into July and August, hot temperatures can really have an impact on our pets. Let’s discuss some of the potential hazards that might be present in your surroundings as summer heats up.
According to the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), there are a number of things to consider during hot weather.
- Heartworm. While heartworm may not be the first thing that comes to mind, heartworm is a risk factor. Moosquitos are out and they transmit the disease. Get your pet checked for heartworm and keep her on preventative medication.
- Dehydration. Like humans, pets need to get plenty of water and have a shady or cool spot to keep their internal temperature regulated.
- Parked cars. We know that it can heat up quickly inside a car. This means potential heat stroke or death. And, in some states it is illegal.
- Pools. Pets shouldn’t be unsupervised. Not every pet is a good swimmer. And if you use pool covers, the potential for an unattended pet to get trapped is real.
- Open, unscreened windows. Pets can fall out of windows that are open and unscreened. Also, if you live in a high-rise with a patio or balcony make sure your pet is never left unattended. A fall from a significant distance can be fatal and can potentially injure others below.
- Asphalt. We know the road gets hot. If your pet is low to the ground, not only can they get an overheated body from absorbing heat into their belly, they can burn the pads on their paws.
For other hazards go to https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/hot-weather-safety-tips.
Be safe and keep an eye on your senior pets as the summer sun raises the mercury in those thermometers.
As most of us prepare to return to a more familiar version of the 4th of July holiday, it is always good to emphasize the potential issues some pets may face from fireworks.
Even the most chill pets may be undone by the loud sounds of explosions. July 5th is one of the busiest days at animal shelters, according to American Humane Association.
The last thing pet parents want is to lose a pet during a fireworks display and risk injury, death, or separation from their home due to a panicked escape. Let’s cover some suggestions on how to approach the holiday with your pet in mind.
- Indoor time is good. Keep your pet indoors during the display. And if you plan to head out to watch the fireworks outside your home, leave your pet at home. Some pet parents find that thunder shirts or similar products provide relief. But, not all pets will find relief that way.
- Make sure your pet is properly ID’ed. Microchipping is great, but it never hurts to have additional ID tags on your pet just in case they slip out a door. If you have guests over make sure they are aware of your pet so they don’t inadvertently let them outside.
- Barbecues are good for people, not pets. There are lots of opportunities for pets to get into products or foods that might cause them harm. Watch out for alcohol, table scraps that might upset tummies or cause more severe damage (we see you ribs and chicken wings), and any insect repellent product not specifically made for pets.
You can check out other ideas for safety from PetMD by clicking on the following link: https://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_multi_top_ten_fourth_of_july_pet_safety_tips
Stay safe, have fun, and if possible, hang out with your floofin and make them as comfortable as possible.