The OSPCA and Humane Society wants to remind pet owners to keep the safety of their furry friends in mind to make this Victoria Day long weekend fun for everyone.
If you’re heading up to the cottage with your pets, checking out local fireworks, or getting together with family and friends, here are 10 tips to keep your animals safe:
- Take the fear out of fireworks – Leave your pet at home during fireworks and close windows and doors. Your pet may pace around, make noise or search for a place to hide. Let your pet be – comforting your pet will indicate that something is wrong and add to your pet’s anxiety. By staying calm and relaxed, you’ll help reassure your pet that there’s no real danger.
- No time to let loose – Your pet may have excellent recall at home, but at the cottage an unleashed pet can easily wander off and become lost, have a dangerous run-in with a wild animal, or get struck by a car. Keep your pet safe and on a leash.
- Be reachable at the cottage – Make sure your pet is wearing identification with your cottage phone number and address. For pets that are microchipped, contact the provider and let them know your weekend address and phone number. You should also have the number of the local animal control facility and animal shelters.
- Stay hydrated– Bring portable, fresh water for your pets while traveling, even if you’re on a boat. Don’t forget a spill-proof container.
- Be cool – Ensure pets have access to shade at all times. Do not leave animals unattended in vehicles. Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open.
- Be wise around water – Remember to remove chain training collars or slip collars from your dog before swimming to prevent it from snagging on debris in the water. Always keep a careful watch of your dog and be aware of currents and fast-moving water. Water conditions such as cold temperatures or strong winds can also make your dog tire more quickly.
- Boat smart with a PFD – Even the strongest of swimmers need a life jacket when going out on the water. A life jacket will keep your pet safe in case the water is too cold or rough, and should your pet accidentally go overboard, a life jacket will make it easier to pull your pet back on board.
- Minimize stress – High-stress environments can trigger unexpected behaviour in even the calmest dogs, so check out our guide to dog bite prevention to brush up on your dog safety skills. Keep pets in a comfortable, familiar part of the house away from the action, ideally with their favourite toy or treat to keep them occupied.
- Beat the bugs – Your pet should be up-to-date on all his or her vaccines. Ask your vet about flea and tick medications for out-of-area travel.
- Have fun! – Get your pet in on the long weekend fun by planning some fun activities geared around them. Check out these dog-friendly long weekend activities.