Pet Safety Tips to Protect Your Four-Legged Family Members in Jenison, MI

Since October is National Animal Safety and Protection Month, we think there’s no better time to give pet parents a few friendly reminders about how they can make life safer and more enjoyable for their animal companions. As your pet goes through life, there will be all sorts of hazards and risks they’ll encounter, and while some things just can’t be avoided, there are just as many, if not more, things that can be prevented with planning and preparation. Read on for helpful tips and information about making your pet’s health and safety a priority.

A beautiful black and white cat sitting on a windowsill and looking outside.

Here’s What You can Do to Increase Your Pet’s Safety

From taking proactive steps to improve their health care to anticipating future emergencies, here are some things you can do to ensure a happier, healthier life for your pet.

Routine Vet Visits

As your veterinarian, we should see your pet once a year (twice a year for senior pets) so we can assess their health and recommend changes if necessary. During these visits, we can screen your pet for signs of illness and administer their vaccine boosters to help maintain their protection against infectious diseases. Missing out on these services can increase your pet’s vulnerability to infections and other problems.

Up-to-Date ID

Have you switched out your pet’s collar tag for their new one? Is your pet microchipped? Nobody wants to think about their pet getting lost, but accidents do happen. Keeping your pet’s tags current and having them microchipped can increase their odds of being returned to you if they do run off and end up at an animal hospital or shelter. Plus, a microchip is forever and the procedure is quick and virtually painless.

“Pet-Proof” Your Home

Sometimes, having a pet can feel a lot like having a small toddler in the house. Planning ahead and making sure your home is a safe, pet-friendly space can limit your pet’s chances of getting into trouble. Dogs and cats are both very inquisitive creatures and tend to follow their noses. Here are some good ways to minimize risks for your pet at home:

  • Always keep doors to the outside securely closed to prevent an escape.
  • If you have any rooms in your home that are not so pet-friendly, keep them closed; if the room doesn’t have a door, put up a baby gate to discourage your pet from trespassing.
  • Make sure all cleaning supplies, perfumes, essential oils, and medications are kept in secure cabinets or drawers that your pet can’t get into.
  • Place bathroom trashcans up on a shelf or some other place your pet can’t reach.
  • Don’t leave potpourri sitting out in a dish in a place your pet can reach. Keep it in a secure jar or sealable bag and store it in a cabinet or up on a shelf.
  • If your pet is a chewer, bitter apple spray could help to discourage chewing on table legs, chairs, cabinet doors, and more.
  • Floor runners and non-slip rugs are ideal if your home has hardwood flooring or slick linoleum tiles, which can be disastrous for accident-prone pets.
Boston Terrier dog being examined by a vet using stethoscope. Professional veterinarian examining his patient cute puppy. Closeup of hand using a stethoscope on a puppy.
Golden Retriever holding First-Aid-Kit

Pet First Aid Kit

Pet first aid kits are a little bit different than human first aid kits. Here’s what they should include:

  • Squares of gauze
  • Non-adhesive bandages
  • Your regular veterinarian and emergency vet’s phone numbers
  • A copy of your pet’s latest medical records
  • Bandage tape (made for animals only)
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Digital thermometer
  • An eye dropper or syringe (no needle)
  • A muzzle or length of cloth that can be used as a muzzle

Stay Alert

Similar to how you might notice a human family member acting or looking different, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet and let your veterinarian know if your pet doesn’t seem like themselves. You know your pet’s behaviors best, and should be able to notice if there are any changes. It helps to keep a notebook nearby so you can record any changes as they are happening, or you can even use your phone to take notes and photos/videos. Keep this information and bring it to your veterinarian’s office so you can give them a better idea of what’s going on. The key is to alert your veterinarian to any health or behavior changes as soon as possible. What might seem like a small quirk could turn out to be a bigger issue.