Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
This weekend kicks off the “official” start of summer, but here in New York we have already had some near-80 degree, humid days so it feels like summer had already kicked off. Memorial Day is a day for family, friends and fun and is also a time we like to share Memorial Day pet safety tips. There are many hazards that could befall your beloved pet, but with a little planning and forethought you can have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.
If, like me, you’re planning a backyard barbecue and if like me, you have more than one pet, it’s important that you take each pet (both size and species) into consideration. For example, Henrietta the Diva Poodle is not a fan of the outdoors so if she is outside, I will usually have to either carry her or put her in a chair (always on her harness and leash) while I am outside. The other dog, Spenser, loves to be outdoors, but we need to make certain he isn’t racing around the yard near the barbecue grill. As for the other species — we have four cats that are nosy and always want to be part of the action. We need to make certain they are safely secured in a room where they won’t have the opportunity to bolt out an open door.
Here are pet safety tips you can consider to make your Memorial Day a great one:
- It may be tempting to give Fido or Fluffy a bit of your burger or hot dog or piece of chicken, but please don’t. Table scraps aren’t good for your pet and can lead to pet obesity. Even if they’re looking at you with those pleading eyes, resist the urge to feed them from the table. Stick to their regular dinner routines. If you simply can’t bring yourself to not slip them a snack, try to give them vegetables or fruit (carrot sticks, squash, apple slices). Make sure your guests know the “no table scraps rule.”
- Don’t let them get near any alcoholic beverages. Many adult beverages are sweet and that is a lure to your pets. Alcohol can easily poison your pet and lead to upset stomachs, vomiting or may involve a trip to the vet. Keep drinks out of reach of all of your pets.
- As always, make certain there is fresh, clean water available for your pet.
- Keep your pet away from the grill (the smell of cooking meats will likely be a draw). Also, keep any lighter fluid, charcoal and matches in an area that your pet can’t get to.
- Keep your pets on a leash even when you’re in your backyard, unless you have a fenced in area for him or her to run.
- If you have “indoor” pets, like cats, make sure they are in a room where there is no possibility of them getting spooked by the unfamiliar people in the house and dashing out the door. It’s best to put them in a room with a litter box, food and fresh water and make sure your guests know that room is off limits.
- If your guests are bringing their dogs along to the party, it’s best to introduce them slowly to your pets, ie don’t let them simply come in, go off leash and roam your fenced in backyard. Your dog may be feeling the stress of a houseful of new people and if you toss a new, unfamiliar dog into the mix it could be a recipe for disaster.
- If your family dog isn’t accustomed to children or strangers, ask everyone to be cautious and to please stay out of your dog’s face. Fluffy or Fido may be meek and mild mannered with you, but may not be with a stranger — especially a child who may be face-level height with him.
- If you notice your dog is getting stressed by the activity, offer her a safe, quiet place to get away from it all. If she is crate trained she may be more comfortable in her crate with a favorite toy or blanket for a spell.
- Swimming pools are a lure for many dogs and if you’re going to a party at a house that has a pool and your pet isn’t accustomed to them, be vigilant as he may just want to jump in and join the fun, but may not be able to swim; not all dogs can!
What steps do you take to make sure your pets enjoy safe, happy holidays when all of your family and friends are gathering?
(Photo: Shutterstock American Pride Dog)