It’s October, and it’s that time of the year again. No, we’re not talking about Halloween. That’s still a long way off, and that comes at the end of the month. What we’re referring to is National Animal Safety and Prevention Month, which is celebrated annually when October comes around. This is a month that’s dedicated to the promotion of the safe practices of caring for animals, both domestic and wild. Even if we don’t personally have pets, animals still play an important role in our everyday lives. Thus, it’s crucial that we make sure they are treated well, with respect, kindness, and care that all of them deserve.
The National Animal Safety and Prevention Month is an annual event created and organized by the PALS Foundation. The latter is a non-profit organization that aims to help people coexist with animals in a way that is harmonious and beneficial to all of nature. It is their belief that people must be aware of and respect the value of animals, whether they’re domestic or belong to the wild, and the crucial role that they play in balancing our ecosystem.
Must-Remember Pet Safety Tips This National Animal Safety and Prevention Month
Tips for Pet Owners
As a pet owner, there are several ways you can participate in the National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Pets can eat and swallow things that can cause harm to them, and we might even unknowingly give them certain foods, substances, or medications that are nothing but deadly poison to them. Even though it’s October, it’s still the tail-end of the summer season, and we can get some incredibly hot weather. On those days, dehydration and heat stroke are serious concerns for your pet. The following are some tips you can follow to make sure your pet is safe:
1. Keep him away from potential food poisons. Whether it’s something that you fed to your pet or something that he ate on his own, there are certain foods we humans eat that can be harmful for him. For instance, chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is said to be extremely deadly to dogs. Garlic and onions in large quantities are also not good for him, and likewise with grapes and raisins. Other substances that should be kept away from your pet are the following: caffeinated food and drinks, unbaked yeast bread dough, sugar substitutes like xylitol, and especially alcohol.
2. Store harmful household liquids out of their reach. In our household, we use certain chemicals that might prove toxic to our pets should they happen to get in contact with them or accidentally ingest them. For instance, substances such as bleach, detergents, cleaning products, paint, and glue can seriously cause them harm not only if they swallow it but also even if it just touches their skin or fur. This is why you must keep these chemicals as well as certain gardening fertilizers and automotive fluids in places that are locked securely, where your pets won’t be able to reach them.
3. Make sure that you pick up after yourself and remind your other family members to do the same. Otherwise, you risk leaving certain items on the floor that might seem harmless to you but can actually cause your pets some serious injury. For instance, a simple piece of string, when swallowed by your pet, can cause them to choke. Also, appliances with lengthy electrical cords are also recipes for disaster, as your pet cats or dogs might be tempted to chew on them, and they might end up choking or even electrocuted. If you have cats in your household, then you know that they are creatures that like cozying up in hidden corners. One of those corners is the inside of your clothes dryer. Thus, it is a must that you first check the interior of your dryer before you use it. Remind your other family members of this rule too.
4. Keep your personal medications away from them, as there’s a great chance that they might also be poisonous to your pets. For instance, there are medicines we take to relieve pain and cure our ailments, but if they happen to get ingested by your pets, they can cause serious medical issues, that might even lead to death. Examples of such medications are ADHD medication, antidepressants, sleeping pills, contraceptives, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and beta blockers. No matter if it is over-the-counter medication or by prescription, all medicines should be securely kept in a locked drawer, where they will be out of your pet’s reach.
5. If you smoke, don’t leave your cigarette butts lying around or your pet might be tempted to ingest it. Things like cigarette and cigar butts, nicotine gum, nicotine patches, and chewing tobacco contain nicotine, which can cause sickness and even death in animals, even when taken in small amounts. After smoking or using such things, make sure you dispose of them in the proper receptacles. Or you might be better off quitting. You’d be doing your pets and yourself a huge favor by getting rid of such a harmful habit.
6. Keep an eye on them on days with extreme temperatures. It’s already October, but we can still get days that are extremely hot. While most pets can handle temperatures of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it is still crucial that you monitor their condition as certain factors like their breed, existing health condition, and age can influence how they are able to handle the humidity and the heat. Give them ways to cool off even on the hottest of days by setting up cooling beds and kiddie pools for them, where they can splash around if they ever feel hot. You can also give them some chilled treats. Finally, it is very important that you always keep their water bowl full at all times so that they do not get dehydrated.
7. Even some house plants can also prove toxic to them, so do some research about which plants are okay to have around pets and which are not. In case you do have plants that can be harmful to them when their leaves are ingested, make sure you get rid of them or keep them in places that are out of your pet’s reach. For instance, you might like having poinsettias near your fireplace for the aesthetic, but you must know that their leaves, when ingested by animals, can cause mild to severe allergic reactions.
8. When taking your pets along for a ride in your car, make sure they are properly leashed or are securely in their pens. This way, you can ensure that they don’t accidentally jump out of the vehicle or are not harmed themselves when there’s a collision. Also, never under any circumstances leave your pet alone in your car especially on a very hot day. The heat can build up, and because of the closed interiors, it can become especially stifling to your pet. If left for long enough, he might even die of heat stroke.
9. Invest in GPS trackers that can monitor the location of your pets in real time. This way, even if your pet wanders, which animals can be prone to do, you can always track his exact whereabouts and quickly recover him. Such a device is also helpful in monitoring the vital stats and physiological condition of your pet, such as when his heart rate is too erratic or he’s sweating too much. It can even monitor his activities, such as when he is standing still or running around.
Among the trackers in the market, Trackidog is known to be one of the most reliable as it has a long-lasting battery. It is also small and lightweight enough so your pet can easily wear it without any discomfort. Lastly, it has one of the most cost-effective monthly plans in the market, so it won’t even bust your budget.
Tips for Non-Pet Owners
Pet owners aren’t the only people that can do their part for the animals during National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Even people who don’t own pets can also do something that can benefit our furry, four-legged friends.
For instance, you can foster and take in a dog or a cat until you can find him a forever home. There are lots of animals in shelters and even from the streets that are in need of some love and attention. While looking for someone that can adopt them permanently, you can take him in and take care of him temporarily.
If you live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, however, that’s still not a problem. Instead of taking in a pet, you can choose to donate your time, money, and effort to certain animal shelters in your area. Some of these shelters are greatly in need of supplies and volunteers, and they will surely appreciate anything you can give them.
Finally, you can help the cause of the National Animal Safety and Prevention Month simply by spreading the word about it. You can put up some flyers, write a blog post about, or even talk about it with your friends and family.