The Two Most Important Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe

If you talk to a Licensed Veterinary Technician, they will tell you that there are two very specific things that you can do as a dog owner that will help prevent your pet from being put in an emergency situation:

1. MAKE SURE YOUR PET HAS SUFFICIENT IDENTIFICATION
The next time you take your pet to the doctor, take a look around the waiting room and see how many pets have ID tags on their collars. There are people who will look at a dog or cat with a ton of tags attached to their collar and think that the owner is a little nuts. The reality is that the owner is actually well prepared, as it only takes a moment for your pet to get away from you. In situations where your dog or cat becomes lost, wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that whoever finds the pet need only look at the tags to get all the information they need to get the animal back to its rightful owner?

Let’s not forget that people are also wary of stray dogs, and they may not approach one who is not wearing a collar or tags. If a stranger sees the tag with the animals name on it, they can often offer a reassuring voice, as the pet will recognize its name and perhaps calm down a little. If you are uncomfortable with putting the name on the tag, go with something like “REWARD,” and make it big an easy to read, even from a distance. Big, bright plastic tags are easy to see, but they can also become chewed or broken.

It’s important that you regularly check the tags to see that they are in good shape, and that the message on them can still be easily read. A license alone is not enough to count as ID, and the city does not always do the best job of keeping their records up to date. The majority of lost dogs are found outside of City Hall opening hours, so tags are always the best way to go. You might also consider adding information to the tag that indicates that your dog is chipped. Adding a small, rice-sized chip on your dog is something that your vet can do, and it’s a useful way to gain a positive idea through scanning. The ID tag of a chipped dog comes with a toll-free number that can be called after the dog has been found, making it easy to find the owner. Tattoos are also an option, but they don’t really supply the wealth of information that a chip does. Talk to your vet about all of the permanent ID options available to you.

2. KEEP YOUR PETS UNDER CONTROL AT ALL TIMES!
If you are a cat owner, you are going to need a carrier for transportation. Cat owners often think that they can control their pets, but it only takes one loud noise to spook the cat and get it running off after digging in the claws.

If you use a crate for your dog in your home, you should use it to get him around in. There are some dog owners who believe that simply clipping the leash to their belt buckle will suffice, only to find themselves being pulled and dragged all over the vets office. The type of collar and leash that you used to train your dog should be what you use when you have him out of the crate. He should be on leash at all times when he is out. The dog quickly learns that the training leash and collar means that he needs to behave at all times. If he does start to get a little out of control, you may need nothing more than the tone of your voice to get him back in line. In those cases, the collar and leash are there to reinforce, although a well-trained dog ill only require a mild reminder in order to get back to behavior that is acceptable.

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