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  • Writer's picturePauline Handy

Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

National Pet Day is right around the corner. What better way to celebrate your beloved pet than to learn how to keep them healthy and safe?

Young couple, son & golden retriever

If you have a pet, you know how much they do for you. Aside from companionship, owning a pet offers numerous health benefits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that people with pets benefit from:

  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol

  • Decreased loneliness, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms

  • Higher levels of exercise and time spent outdoors

  • Improved cognitive function (in older adults)

  • Greater socialization

Your pet helps keep you healthy and safe, so you should do the same for them. If you’re a pet owner, here are some safety tips for pet owners to help keep your pet out of trouble.

Keep food and drinks out of reach. Many human foods and drinks can be toxic to pets. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists several things not to feed your pets:

  • Alcohol

  • Avocados (These are most problematic for birds, donkeys, horses, sheep, goats and other farm animals.)

  • Chocolate

  • Coffee and other caffeinated beverages

  • Citrus fruits

  • Coconuts

  • Grapes and raisins

  • Nuts

  • Dairy products

  • Raw meats and raw eggs

  • Bones

  • Salty foods

  • Gum and sweets containing xylitol

  • Dough containing yeast

Safely store household products. You might not realize how many toxic substances you have in your home. The following household items are just a few of the hazards to be aware of:

  • Antifreeze

  • Rodent bait

  • Batteries

  • Household cleaners

  • Fertilizer

  • Glue

  • Ice melt

  • Nicotine

  • Pesticides

  • Certain plants (The ASPCA lists lilies, tulips and English ivy among several other toxic plants.)

Add animal poison control to your phone contacts. If you believe your pet has ingested a hazardous substance and you can’t reach your veterinarian, call the ASPCA’s 24/7 poison control hotline at 888-426-4435. (Note you may be charged a consultation fee.)

When traveling with your pet, keep them in a crate. And never allow your pet to ride in the back of an open pickup truck. If you have to swerve or stop abruptly, they will not be secure.

Never leave your pet in a car. A car can heat up by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, according to In a short amount of time, your pet could suffer heatstroke, brain damage or worse.

Secure your pet in public. Use a crate or a leash. While you may trust your dog, you can’t predict whether another animal will approach you or a passing ambulance will spook your four-legged companion. And remember, other people might not be as comfortable around your pet as you are.

Microchip your pet and update its identification tags. According to Harbor View Veterinary Hospital, one in every three pets gets lost during its lifetime. For lost pets that end up in shelters, microchipping is your best chance at being reunited.

Bring your pets inside during bad weather and fireworks. Thunderstorms and fireworks can create serious stress for your animal. To keep your pet safe, move them to a small interior room or put up blackout curtains. If your pet is crate trained, offer the crate as a safe space. You can also ask your vet for an anti-anxiety medication to help them cope with the stress.

Your pet loves you on the good days and the bad. To get the most out of their companionship, do your part to keep them healthy and safe.

Fetch a Pet Insurance Quote for Your Furry Family Member!

V.F. McNeil Insurance is a full-service, Trusted Choice® independent insurane agency. Whether you need insurance for your business, your home and automobiles, and even your pets, our team has you covered! We have access to several fine insurance carriers and have the collective experience you need to get you the right insurance from day one®. We can be reached at (203) 481-2684 or (203) 483-2988, or by using our Appointment Request Form.

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