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Jul 29

Top Five Safety Tips for Dog Owners

REUNITED!!! Bailey - Min Pin
Bailey, the Miniature Pinscher here, was displaced by the Joplin, MO tornado in 2012. Photo credit: Joplin Tornado Lost and Found Pets on Flickr.

We love our dogs and don’t want anything bad to happen to them. However, the reality is that dogs will get into things, and many times, there is nothing we can do about it. However, there are some things we can prevent. I’ve listed five that I think are most important.

  1. Microchipping. Dogs, especially Min Pins, can find new ways to get loose every day, and animal shelters only keep dogs for a limited number of days before they are put up for adoption or euthanized. Thus, it is important that owners can be contacted quickly if picked up by animal control. Microchipping is the best way to do this since collars can get lost and tags can become illegible.
  2. Car Restraints. Min Pins love to ride in the front seat with their head out the window, but in case of a wreck, the results can be disastrous. Min Pins and puppies of any breed who have free reign in a car can also get under the brake pedal and make stopping impossible. Car restraint systems or hard-sided carriers can prevent the worst if an accident happens.
  3. Fire Safety Stickers. I can’t imagine losing a pet in a fire or other natural disaster, especially when it might have been saved if rescuers had known a dog was in the house. Fire safety stickers (e.g., ones that say, “Firefighter, please save our pets”) may save your pet from disaster.
  4. Keep Medicine and Chemicals Out of Reach. This seems like an obvious one, but have you ever opened a drawer in the bathroom and forgotten to close it? Or, walked off and forgotten to close the cabinet door under the kitchen sink? I once walked away from a suitcase while unpacking it. I had completely forgotten about the Tylenol that was in it. Luckily, the dog was not injured, but I did have a large vet bill. After that, my policy on suitcases was either that they are completely empty or zipped shut. Min Pins and all dogs are naturally curious, and they often discover the world with their mouths. Thus, medicines (especially candy coated ones) and chemicals pose a danger to our dogs, and we should keep that in mind when we store or use them.
  5. Poisonous Foods and Plants. Foods and plants can also be toxic to dogs. Just because they are safe for us to eat or be around does not mean that they are safe for dogs. The ASPCA has a list of foods and plants that are toxic to dogs. Also see my articles, Top 10 Foods You Should NEVER Feed your dog, and 10 Plants Poisonous to dogs.

Below is a list of resources to keep your dog safe:

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