Keep your pet safe with training tips and advice from your veterinarian in Costa Mesa, CA
If you are like many pet owners, you may not be with your pet 24/7. Work, errands, and activities take you away from the house and leave your pet unattended for short periods of time. Unattended does not mean unsafe. There are steps to take to ensure your pet is safe even when you are not home. It is helpful to keep your pet safe by following training tips and advice from Dr. Rand Spongberg, a veterinarian in Costa Mesa, CA.
You probably already know about baby proofing a home for families who have babies or young children. Did you know you need to check your house for everyday items that may be unsafe for your animal? What seems ordinary and unexciting to you may be exciting, yet dangerous for your pet.
Tips to keep your pet safe
There are tips to keep your pet safe when you are home or away.
- Keep your trash out of your pet’s reach. Dogs and cats are interested in trash and trash cans. To us, it is trash, dirty, and unappealing. To cats and dogs, the smell, taste, and texture of trash are interesting. Some animals will go out of their way to play in the trash if it is left unattended. Unfortunately, there are items in the trash that may be dangerous such as chicken bones that are brittle and could break off or be a choking hazard. If you are going to be away from home, take out the trash or keep trash cans out of your pet’s reach.
- Avoid feeding your pet human food. Pets like to eat and your food smells delicious. While it may seem harmless to toss the pet your scraps or to feed them from the table, it could be dangerous and may lead to unwanted behaviors. Foods such as chocolate, avocado, garlic, onions, and grapes can cause serious health problems for your pet. To avoid begging or feeding your pet potentially dangerous foods from your plate, try feeding your pet first so his/her stomach is full. Keep your pet in another room or occupied with a treat-filled busy toy while you are eating. Pets also have a knack for finding and consuming things they should avoid, especially when left unattended. Remember, that any scraps you throw in the garbage become fair game so make sure the trash is out of reach. Also, pets can climb. Just because a food is on the table or counter does not make it safe from your pet. If you are out of sight, there is nothing stopping your pet from climbing to get that delicious, yet potentially dangerous, food item.
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- Be aware of and remove choking hazards. Small toys, string, rubber bands, and other items are choking hazards to pets. Although the items seem harmless to you, the risk of choking is high. Be aware of your pet’s size and make sure his/her toys are the appropriate size. Toys for a smaller animal can get stuck in a larger one’s throat.
- Cats may not have nine lives. Although myths and legends depict cats as being nimble and always landing on their feet, they are curious and they like to jump and climb. Check your home for areas where your cat could get stuck such as behind a refrigerator or in a fireplace opening. Make sure those openings are closed off. Keep toilet lids closed. Put away strings and small cat toys when you are away. Strings quickly become choking hazards if cats are left alone to chew on them.
- Hire a pet sitter. Pets get used to schedules and routines. If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time or during a time of day when your pet is used to being with you, consider hiring a pet sitter to maintain your pet’s routine. It gives your pet reassurance and company. It may also minimize mischievousness or anxiety that can come with being left alone. This reduces the possibility of problems or disasters striking when you are away.
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