Accidents are rare but our pets are active and curious. Being prepared helps everyone live a full life.
Know where the emergency animal clinic is located and have their number handy. It is the worst feeling trying to find this info during a crisis.
Think like a dog (or cat) and remove temptation before it happens. If you know you will be cooking or baking and may have extra things on the counter, move them out of reach from your pet even if you are going to be gone for just a short time. They move quick and are opportunist! Ask my husband about this when he left his ready made lunch on the counter, or that package of Oreos, or the...well, you get the picture.
Pet choking first aid. You can give pets the Heimlich maneuver as well as CPR. Many communities offer first aid classes for dogs but the internet has great info too. Most times, a dog or cat can dislodge whatever has caused them to start choking but if they can't, being prepared may save their life. Read more at First Aid For Pets.
Be cold weather aware. Most of you reading this live where it snows or where you can go visit snow areas. Dogs usually love romping in the fluffy white stuff but sometimes the cold is tough on our pets that are used to living in a home with us. Some situations to be aware of with cold weather:
Below freezing temps on cold feet cause frost bite-use booties or a protective wax on their feet.
Swimming in cold rivers-dogs can get hypothermia too! Get your dog warm as soon as you can and watch for symptoms like strong shivering, blue lips and gums, lethargy, dilated pupils or trouble breathing.
Running on frozen ponds or lakes-every winter there are stories on the news of dogs falling through the ice. Call the fire department for a rescue as they are trained to do this and have the proper equipment. Keep your dog leashed when near frozen lakes that you are unsure of the depth of ice.
Ski injuries! Dog's don't ski but can be around skis or other winter equipment on a trail. Sometimes they may get a cut from a ski or ice. Here are some great tips from Outside Magazine on how to prepare for snow adventures with your dog.
If you are going out of town, set your pet sitter up for success. Make sure you have a good pet sitter who has experience and knows your expectations on how to care for your pet. No directions you leave, no matter how over the top you think they are, should cause your pet sitter to roll their eyes. When I pet sit for clients, they have very clear routines. Some need their dogs hand fed, or want walks only in specific areas at specific times, and have special meals prepared for their pet. The clearer you are with direction and having emergency phone numbers available will ensure your pet and you will have peace during your trip.