When we get dogs, they become vital parts of our families almost immediately. With their big hearts and unconditional love, our canine companions are often just as important to us as our two-legged friends and family. It’s important, then, that you make sure to keep your dog safe. Here are some top tips about how best to do it.
Dog-Proof Your Home
First of all, make sure that your back yard is fully enclosed. Dogs can dig under fences or jump over them so make sure that your fence’s foundations extend some way underground and that it’s tall enough to prevent your dog being able to leap over. Make sure that there are no holes or weaknesses in the fence. You can also pet-proof the inside of your home in a similar way to baby-proofing it. Make sure there are no medications or toxic substances out on worktops – remember that for your dog, chocolate is toxic! Use childproof latches and make sure you put away your children’s games with small parts in case your dog swallows or chokes on them. Make sure that all your dog’s toys are high quality that will not disintegrate when being chewed.
Keep Safe On Your Daily Walks
You should be walking your dog regularly so he gets plenty of exercise. On dark winter nights, this gets a lot more dangerous. Although people often remember high-visibility jackets for themselves, they often leave their dogs unprotected. Attach some LED lights to your dog’s collar, and invest in a dog coat or collar with reflective patches, so that if he dashes into the road or, worse, runs away during your walk, he’ll be seen by passing cars. You should also make sure that your dog’s microchip is working correctly – these can migrate, so have your vet check it annually.
Keep Your Dog Protected From The Elements
You might think that your dog’s furry coat will protect her from the worst of the weather, but that isn’t actually true. Invest in a warm coat for the winter and booties if there’s snow, ice or salt around on the sidewalks, and if your dog is an outdoor dog, make sure that she has adequate shelter. An insulated kennel works best, along with plenty of blankets. You could also provide a heater for your dog to keep her cozy. In the summer time, protect your dog from the sun with canine sunscreen, and make sure the sidewalks aren’t so hot that they’ll burn the pads of her paws. Most importantly, remember to never, ever leave her alone and unattended in your car. Temperatures can rise incredibly quickly and your dog could get heatstroke and die.
Train Your Dog Well
Obviously accidents happen but if your dog is well trained, he’s less likely to run away on your nightly walks or to try to jump over your back fence. If you’re having problems with your dog, take him along to obedience training classes and research an online guide to train your dog. He could be bored, so teach him some new tricks, walk him more frequently, and try to spend more time with him during the day. Keep an eye on his health and take him for regular vet check-ups if his behavior changes or he becomes lethargic. A happy, well-trained dog is generally a safe one.