Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your dog.

General Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe

Do these things to keep your dog as safe as possible.

Keeping your dog safe has always been your top priority as a dog owner. Here, we've compiled a checklist for you to look at to see if there are any further ways you can increase the safety of your home for your dog.

Visit Your Veterinarian Routinely

One of the best things you can do to ensure that your dog is as safe and healthy as possible is to take him to the veterinarian regularly. Your vet can recommend vaccines, preventatives, and tests designed to protect your dog from canine illnesses, diseases, and parasites. Each dog and geographical area will have individual needs, so your local veterinarian is the best person to advise you.

Consider a Microchip

If your dog should ever get away from you unexpectedly, being microchipped could be the difference between life and death. A microchip is a tiny radio frequency device that is implanted under a dog's skin. When the chip is read by a scanner, its unique identifying number is revealed. The microchip company can then be contacted and, as long as you have kept your contact information current, you can be reunited with your missing dog.

Along with a microchip, it's important to always keep visible identification in the form of a collar and ID tags with your current information on your dog.

You can learn more here: "Microchipping Dogs."

Look into Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can really help you control the costs of routine and unexpected veterinary bills for your dog. It's easier to care for your dog well when money is less of an issue.

You can take a look at the article "How to Avoid Expensive Veterinary Bills for Your Dog" for more ways to handle medical costs for your dog.

Know Which Human Foods Are Toxic to Dogs

Dogs can't eat some of the foods that are perfectly fine for humans. Grapes, raisins, chocolate, and items containing the sweetener xylitol are just a few of these foods.

Being aware of which human foods can be dangerous for dogs is the first step in keeping your dog safe from them. Learn what you need to know here: "Foods Toxic to Dogs: Slideshow."

Use a Dog Crate and Baby Gates

Keeping your dog in a crate when you aren't home can go a long way toward keeping him safe. After all, dogs that get bored at home might get into trouble and injure themselves or eat something they shouldn't.

Strategically placed baby gates or closed doors can also help keep your dog safe. Stairways, laundry rooms that contain toxic detergents, and pantries stocked with human food are all hot spots of danger for dogs, and they should be blocked off from their access.

Never Give Human Medications to Your Dog

Human medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, are a huge source of accidental poisonings in dogs each year. Never give your dog any medication, including one prescribed for your other dog, without speaking to your veterinarian first.

Keep medications well out of reach of your dog, and use care when opening and getting pills out of a bottle. A dropped pill might be enticing for a dog to pick up and swallow before you can stop him.

Teach Your Dog Basic Commands

Your dog should know basic commands such as his name, no, come, sit, and stay. These commands can increase your dog's safety because you will be able to get him to respond if he is in a dangerous situation.

You can learn more about general training as well as how to train your dog to respond to specific commands in the articles here:

Have a Plan for If You Become Unable to Care for Your Dog

Though it's not pleasant to think about, it's good to plan for a time when something might happen to you. Having a guardian in place for your dog ensures that he won't end up in danger at a shelter. You can learn more here: "Caring for Your Dog After You're Gone."

For information on general safety for your puppy, look here: "A General Guide to Puppy Safety."

To learn more about how to prepare for common canine emergencies, check here: "Top 10 Emergencies in Dogs."

Check out "First Aid for Dogs: An Overview" and the articles linked to within it to learn how to be prepared for some common emergency situations in dogs.

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