4 Tips on How to Keep Your Furry Friend Safe This Labor Day Weekend from Dr. George Melillo of Heart + Paw
Everyone loves a long weekend, even our pets who look forward to bonus time with their family! We’ve rounded up a few key safety tips to make sure your Labor Day Weekend is spent relaxing and having fun, and not heading to the vet.
1. Keep an Eye on the Grill
Labor Day Weekend is the perfect time for an end-of-summer cook out, so it is important to know what foods are safe for your pets and what foods to keep out of reach from your furry friends. Some foods that your dog can eat off the grill are plain, cooked, lean burgers; plain grilled vegetables such as sweet potatoes; and plain grilled fish. Some common BBQ foods to avoid are corn on the cob, onions, and avocado. Be mindful of your pet around the grill, they may try to jump up to get food which could cause a burn. Also watch for any grease drippings that they may lick up which could cause an upset stomach or pancreatitis.
2. Prepare for Late Summer Storms
This time of year can bring severe weather that can cause flooding, power outages, and other challenges. Take some time to prepare an emergency pet safety kit. Some key items to include are an extra leash and collar labeled with your contact information, a pet first aid kit, a toy or other comfort item, and an emergency supply of food in a watertight container.
An envelope with important documents can also come in handy: include your most recent Rabies certificate, vaccination records, prescriptions for medications and heartworm test result (dogs) or FeLV/FIV test result (cats). We also recommend having a printed, recent photo of each of your pets, along with microchip information (ex: microchip number, name and number of the microchip company), and your contact information just in case. It is always better to be overly prepared.
3. Beat the Heat
Even though it feels like summer is coming to an end, temperatures remain high and it is important to be mindful of the hot ground on your pet’s paws. To ensure that the ground is safe for walking, go to the area where you plan to walk with your dog and place your bare skin onto the ground for 10 seconds. If you cannot keep your hand or foot there, or it feels very hot, then it is too hot for your dog’s paws. Be very mindful if you have a brachycephalic breed (i.e. pug, French bulldog, Boston Terrier) as they do not do as well in the heat and should only be out for very short trips on hot days.
4. Fit in Some Extra TLC
With fall comes back-to-school and a stricter routine for many families. Pets can often sense a change is coming, and may need some extra attention as the seasons begin to shift. Take some downtime this long weekend to enjoy time with your furry family members. Whether it’s going for an extra-long walk, a supersized game of fetch, or just spending some quality time on the couch, it’s important to remember our pets enjoy time with us just as much as we enjoy time with them.
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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.
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