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Safety Tips


  • Don't leave your dog unattended in a car - especially in hot weather. Even with the windows open, a car can heat up like an oven in minutes. Hundreds of animals die in cars each year.

  • Make sure your dog always has free access to water - inside the house and out.

  • Before you let your dog in a yard, make sure the fence is secure. And keep watch! Unattended dogs can eventually dig under or climb/jump over fences, get injured or disturb neighbors.

  • Keep your pets off the grass if you've just applied weed killer. They may lick their paws and get ill.

  • Avoid heatstroke: don't leave your dog outside for long periods on a hot day. When outside, a dog must always have a shady shelter and access to water.

  • Don't chain up dogs. Chains and ropes cause injuries, and a chained dog cannot protect himself from stray animals. Chaining creates frustration that leads to aggression and other behavioral problems.

  • Antifreeze kills - and unfortunately its taste appeals to pets. Tightly close and store all containers away from pets, and watch for puddles when you're walking your dog.

  • Do not transport your dog in the back of a pickup truck. Hundreds of dogs die each year from falling out of trucks. Also, dogs get head and eye injuries from sticking heads out car windows.

  • Shield electrical wires and plug outlets in your home. Don't leave coins, clips, etc. on the floor.

  • Store cleaning products high or behind latched doors. Equip cabinet doors with child-proof latches.

  • Don't let pets drink from a toilet that has freshener in the tank or bowl. The chemicals are toxic.

  • Bones, especially those that splinter easily, can lodge in the dog's throat or stomach and cause fatal punctures. Give your dog rubber bones instead.

  • Even a small amount of chocolate can poison and kill your dog. Keep it away from your dog. Unless prescribed by your vet, don't give human medications like aspirin to your dog.

  • Identify and move toxic plants out of reach. According to the National Animal Poison Control Center and other sources, some toxic plants include:

    Aloe Vera
    Apple seeds
    Apricot pit
    Asparagus fern
    Avocado - fruit and pit
    Baby's breath
    Bird of Paradise
    Calla Lily
    Chinaberry Tree
    Chinese evergreen
    Corn plant
    Cornstalk Plant
    Dieffenbachia & Dumb cane
    Dragon tree Easter Lily
    Elephant Ears
    English Ivy
    Fiddle-leaf fig
    Foxglove (Digitalis)
    Ivy - Branching, Devil's, English, German, Glacier, Needlepoint
    Hurricane Plant
    Hyacinth bulbs
    Indian Rubber Plant
    Jerusalem Cherry
    Kalanchoe (Panda Bear Plant)
    Lily of the Valley & other lily plants
    Morning Glory
    Peach (pits and wilting leaves)
    Philodendron (entire plant)
    Plumosa Fern
    Poinsetta (low toxicity)
    Poison Ivy
    Poison Oak
    Primrose (Primula)
    Sago Palm
    Taro Vine
    Tomato Plant (all parts except ripe fruit)
    Wisteria seeds


  • Fences. Check carefully for gaps, loose boards or bent bottom edges. Fix problems immediately. Move any woodpiles away from the fence. Can your dog jump, climb, or dig under the fence? Or break through the pickets? If there's a way to escape, a dog will find it - either to chase other animals, go after passers-by or to look for company. So don't leave your dog in the yard unattended.

  • Electric/invisible fences. Convenient - but risky. The shocks can be unhealthy. When the power fails, your dog may run off - subjecting the dog to injury...and subjecting you to a liability claim. Also, many dogs would rather be shocked than miss the chance to chase a squirrel (and they soon learn the shock stops after passing the barrier). Electric fences do not keep animal or human intruders out.

  • Gate latches. Can someone enter your yard or release your dog? Can your dog open the latch?

  • Screen doors. A dog can easily kick open or tear through screen doors.

  • Doggie doors. Block the door when you are not at home or cannot supervise your dog.

  • Block open stairs/railings using baby or puppy gates.

  • Cold weather tips: Dogs can get frostbite, so don't stay outside long on cold days. Rock salt can damage paw pads and ice melt can be toxic; when pets lick their paws, they can get ill. After walks, remove ice balls between the toes and wipe feet with a damp towel.

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