Memorial Day is the traditional kick off to summer. Memorial Day is a day for family, friends, fun and pets and a time we share Memorial Day pet safety tips. There are many hazards that could befall your beloved pet, but not if you plan for a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. Please note, these safety tips are great for every family gathering regardless of whether it’s a holiday, family reunion or backyard barbecue.
If, like me,you have more than one pet, it’s important you take each pet (both size and species) into consideration. My diva poodle, Henrietta, is not a fan of the outdoors and if she is outside, I usually carry her or put her in a chair (always on her harness and leash) while I am outside. Our new puppy seems to love everyone and everything and has no qualms about being indoors or out. We do need to keep him harnessed and make certain he doesn’t jump on guests or the gas grill.
As for the other species of pets in the house — I have four nosy cats who want to be part of the action. We need to make certain they are safely secured in a room where they won’t have the opportunity to bolt out an open door. They are indoor-only cats. The geckos and bearded dragon are wholly unimpressed with an influx of house guests but we do need to make certain that no one taps on the tank.
Here are pet safety tips for you:
- Don’t feed your pet from the table. It is tempting to give Fido or Fluffy a bit of your burger or hot dog or piece of chicken, but please don’t. Table scraps aren’t healthy and can lead to pet obesity. Resist the urge to feed them, even if they look at you with pleading eyes. Tell your guests to please not feed table scraps to them either. Stick to your pet’s regular dinner routines. If you can’t resist the urge to slip your pets a snack, give them a carrot stick, apple slice or piece of squash.
- Keep the pets away from the alcohol. Many adult beverages are sweet and that is a lure to your pets. Alcohol can poison your pet and lead to upset stomachs, vomiting or involve a trip to the vet.
- Place water dishes in convenient places. Make certain there is fresh, clean water available at all times.
- Keep your pet away from the grill (the smell of cooking meats will be a draw). Keep lighter fluid, charcoal and matches in an area that your pet can’t reach.
- Unless you have a fenced in yard, keep your pet leashed.
- If you have “indoor” pets, like cats, make sure they are in a room where there is no possibility of them getting spooked by the unfamiliar people in the house and dashing out the door. Move their litter box, food and fresh water and let your guests know that room is off limits because you need to keep the cats safe.
- Are your guests bringing their pets to the party? It’s best to introduce them slowly to your pets, ie don’t let them simply come in, go off leash and roam your fenced in backyard. Your dog may already be stressed by a houseful of strangers and this unfamiliar dog could lead to a fight.
- Teach younger guests how to approach your dog. If your dog isn’t accustomed to children or strangers, ask everyone to be cautious and to stay out of your dog’s face. Your pet may be mild-mannered with people he knows, but with strangers it could be a different story. Be cautious and help prevent any incidents.
- If your dog is getting to agitated by the activity, put him into a safe, quiet place in the house so he can relax with a favorite toy or blanket.
- Swimming pools are fun for humans and pets, but you need to keep a careful eye on all pets in and around the pool. Remember, not all dogs can swim. Also, if you have a vinyl liner swimming pool, a dog’s claws could rip or tear the liner. Determine whether you will let dogs in the pool before the party and let your guests know.
What steps do you take to make sure your pets will be safe and happy this summer?
Check out all of the pet holidays in our Pet Calendar At-A-Glance.
Written by Robbi Hess, Pet Blogger, Content Strategist, Time Management Guru & Pet Lover Of The Highest Order.