Summer is coming to an end and that means Labor Day is near! The final summer party! Labor Day can be a busy time for humans and pets, and there are extra dangers to watch out for. Holidays usually see a spike in lost pets and in poisonings. Protect your pets from stress and dangerous situations this holiday with a little extra planning.
Keep them Safe in Hot Weather
Even though the end of summer is near, the weather can still be scorching, especially in Memphis.
Keep water bowls clean and full. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
Keep pets off hot asphalt. When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Apply sunscreen. UV rays can cause skin cancer in dogs as well as humans. So make sure to apply sunscreen if you’re taking your pooch along.
Prevent Lost Pets
Any break in routine can increase the chance of your pet getting lost. Labor Day, when many people are off work and traveling or having guests over, is no exception. Here are some precautions you can take to keep your pet safe.
Check your fences and gates for gaps. Repair and block any opening your dog could squeeze through before letting your dog into the yard. Even a gap that looks too small can be dangerous – your dog can get stuck trying to squeeze into a small hole. Plus, it only takes a bit of digging to make a “too-small” gap into an exit.
Always keep your dog on a leash and your cat in a carrier when traveling! Even a well-trained pet can be startled or scared into running in unfamiliar places. Finding a pet in another city is a difficult prospect, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Double-check your pet’s ID. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar AND tag, and that the tag has your CURRENT information on it! If your pet has a microchip, check with the chip company to make sure it has the right contact information listed. Take some photos of your pet that clearly show his or her markings, so you’ll have up-to-date pictures if you need to claim your pet at a shelter.
If your pet doesn’t have correct ID tags, use a permanent marker and write your phone number (with area code) on the collar in large clear writing.
Kennel your dog or confine your cat to a room away from the door when you’re expecting houseguests to arrive. It’s easy for a pet to slip out the door in the confusion, especially if your guests aren’t used to watching out for pets. If your pet likes socializing, you can let him out to mingle with guests once everyone has come in, but confine him again while people are leaving.
Have important phone numbers ready. Have your vet’s number and a pet poison control center’s number near at hand in case of emergencies. Most vets aren’t open on holidays, so list an emergency vet’s number, too. Put them in your phone or post them on the fridge where you can find them quickly if needed.
Know what to do if your pet is lost. Our “I Lost My Pet” guide can point you in the right direction.
Prevent Home Dangers
Holiday parties and gatherings pose hazards to your pet, too. Many human food items are tempting to pets but dangerous or toxic when eaten, and the distraction of a party provides more opportunity for pets to ingest them.
Check your pet’s location frequently. During the party, keep an eye out for pets any time they aren’t confined in a separate area. Try to keep pets away from areas where food is being kept or served.
Know the dangers. Cooked bones, chocolate desserts, and many other human foods are dangerous or toxic to pets. Review the ASPCA’s list of common toxic foods for dogs. If your pet does manage to sneak a bite of something, you’ll know how to respond.
Have important phone numbers posted nearby. Make a list of important numbers – including an emergency veterinarian, animal poison control center, and your pet’s microchip registration company – and post them in an easy-to-see location. (Add them to your phone’s contact list, too!)
Have fun and keep you and your furbabies safe!