The 10 Best Ways To Care For Our Furry Friends' Health And Safety
August 5, 2017
Now you can download a Dog Health & Safety Poster that anyone can get for free! They are downloadable as a PDF file and can be printed by anyone. Don't have a printer? Send us a SASE and we'll print and mail one for you. We'll even send free printouts to veterinarians who want to give it away. Currently we have a dog safety poster ready for download, and we'd also like to cover the whole spectrum of cared-for companions including cats. And we'll certainly make it available to other sites that cover giveaways, such as TheFreeSite.com
You can post it where it will be easily learned by everyone in the household. For example, it could be posted on the fridge for a week until everyone is familiar with it and can care for the family pet's safety. Then the pet's primary caretaker could keep the printout handy, preferably on display, and check it occasionally to make sure that it's being followed. There's no such thing as 100% perfect safety, but working together we can pursue better outcomes for pets and pet owners. We estimate this poster will help pet owners who responsibly follow its directions prevent over 95% of the unnecessary harms they can be reasonably expected to prevent.
A few future enhancements are in store. We'll do a "back page" that covers the special needs of puppies, senior dogs and other special cases that may arise. If you download the available one-sided poster today, you can always come back and print the reverse side later. Finally it would be nice to do a separate well-being and happiness poster, elevating the discussion from prevention of harm up to vibrance of living.
This poster was extensively researched, using several expert sources including the American Veterinary Association. If you have some experience in the field of pet health, I'd like to pay especially close attention to your comments. What do you wish pet owners would do to better care for their pet's health and safety that isn't covered here yet? Would you like to give out free copies to your customers (perhaps we could send copies to you at no charge?) What changes would you like made that would make the printed posters more presentable or enjoyable for them?
We hope to serve you and the Internet community by creating more one-page posters covering many aspects of health and safety. Modern life can be so hectic, there's a big need for these one-page guides, short and easy enough that everyone can find the time to read and learn.
Preview The Poster
Here they are, the top 10 dog health & safety rules that you'll get with your PDF download. The main difference is that the PDF will print neatly as one page. Boldface is used to emphasize the key concepts, so anytime someone looks at the poster again, it's easy to quickly check the boldface parts to see to it that their dog's safety is being adequately cared for. To appreciate the pictures better, I've programmed each one to double in size each time you click it (so you could quadruple it or more.) If that doesn't work on your browser, I suggest pressing keys to enlarge this page 2-3 times (PC: [Ctrl]+) (Mac: [Command]+); to reduce size change that "+" to a "-".
Top Ten Dog Health & Safety Rules
1. Feed and water your dog safely.Avoid chocolate and xylitol, both poisonous to dogs. Use clean bowls and change the water daily to avoid bacterial growth. If you feed it premium quality food (wet or dry) rather than the cheaper brands sold in most stores, you could keep its body happier and extend its life by several years. Any other scraps you feed it should be no more than 10% of its total diet. Don't overfeed your dog to the point where it becomes overweight, because that could shorten its life by several years.
2. Know how and when to let a dog outside. Firstly, keep a collar and ID tag on your pet. A collar allows it to be leashed or easily held back with your hand. Make sure the collar is loose enough to let it breathe easily. An ID tag is wise in case it escapes home and/or gets lost. A healthy pet may need to go outside 3-5 times per day to relieve itself; watch carefully to get a read on that.
3. Guard where your dog can go and who it interacts with. A leash and/or a fence can keep your dog from fighting other dogs and biting people. Especially in non-rural areas, no roaming around should be allowed. If you don't have an escape-proof fence, keep your dog on a leash whenever you take it outside. Keep screens on all windows to prevent escapes. If you let a dog run around, there are too many ways for it to get hurt to list them all here. If you don't know where an animal is, there is no way to attend to its safety.
4. Dog-proof your home like you would baby-proof it, and then some. Dogs, and especially puppies, explore by mouthing and chewing. Many different kinds of household chemicals are harmful to them. Dogs can mistake hanging electrical cords for chew toys. They can easily get tied up in drapery pulls and perhaps even be strangled. Visit https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/householdhazards.aspx for some pet-proofing guidance. Some plants can be poisonous to dogs, even the holly that is hung at Christmastime, so check your household's plants at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/dogs-plant-list.
5. Keep it watered, and its coat and paws sufficiently cool. Don't ever leave a dog in a hot car because it can take just minutes for heat stroke to occur. Keep your dog's paws cool too. This will avoid burnt paws and overheating. Surfaces like asphalt or truck-bed metal can get very hot. When it's hot, take care that they have access to fresh drinking water and shade. They can get very thirsty because panting and drinking is how they cool themselves. In summer, dogs can get sunburn, especially dogs with thin or lightly-colored coats of fur. It's best to take them outside when the sun hasn't risen too high, or else have shade available for them. Many people advocate a warm-weather haircut and/or sunscreen if a dog is kept outside for long, and certainly don't over-exercise it in the heat.
In winter, they can get frostbite so always consider the weather before taking your dog outside. Even a husky shouldn't be left outside in subzero weather unnecessarily. And make sure to let no antifreeze ever spill, because it's poisonous yet it tastes good.
6. Know where your dog can and can't swim. Don't assume it will have the common sense to never jump into dangerous waters. Most dogs can learn to swim, but they aren't natural swimmers. A swimming pool can be dangerous if your dog doesn't have an easy way to pull itself out. And if still water looks murky or scummy, it could be toxic when swallowed.
7. In a car, keep your dog safe and secure. Another problem with dogs in truck beds is that dogs can fall out or be badly injured in an accident. Over 100,000 dogs are estimated to die this way each year. A leash is no answer because it can lead to a severe neck injury. For truck beds, a secured crate with access to air and water is the way to go. Some crates and harnesses are dangerous, so visit CenterForPetSafety.org to see how to do it right. The distraction of letting a dog ride in a car can lead to an accident, so use a car harness, a crate, or a barrier that keeps it in the back seat. If you like to let your dog poke its head out the window, protect its eyes with doggy goggles. If you get a window pad that slides over the top of the window, that will prevent it from jumping out and also protect its throat from sudden bumps.
8. Try to take your dog in for annual checkups.Vaccines are important, and sometimes a pet will require multiple shots so ask your vet about that. Your vet also will examine your dog for signs of oncoming health problems. Diseases are more easily prevented than cured.Don't medicate a pet yourself because they can react differently to pills such as aspirin, which is sometimes fatal.
9. Protect your dog from parasites. Some of the most common are fleas, ticks and heartworm. There are many more less common ones. It really depends on what area you live in, so be sure to ask your vet how to protect against them. Use only vet-approved products because only they are qualified to judge which product is safe for your pet and how it should be applied. There are some cheap flea repellents out there that don't work well and can irritate your dog's skin.
10. Watch for any changes in your dog's behavior. Temporary odd behaviors are to be expected from dogs, but anytime there's an uncharacteristic depression or really negative change in behavior that persists for a significant time, something may have gone wrong with your dog's health. The course of caution is to take it to see the vet.
Download The Poster Now
Thank you for being a caring dog lover and reading this page. When we create a final version, we'll make an easy-to-print PDF and post it here, free for everyone to distribute. We hope it will prove to be a popular boost to dog well-being all across America. You can preview or print the PDF by clicking here.
All we ask for in return for downloading this poster is one comment in the discussion thread at page bottom. For example you could let us know how we're doing, or ask to have a tip added.
Since we want to support the well-being of us humans as well, a quick mention of our seven free "Good Life Bonuses" also seems appropriate: It's great for boosting human health, safety and financial freedom. The discussion thread for the poster is below, I hope you'll find it interesting, and perhaps you'd like to post a comment as well.
Let's talk about how to create and give away the best dog safety poster we possibly can. As an “early bird” at this site, your help in getting the conversation started would be greatly appreciated! So please be sure to make a comment below, perhaps suggesting an improvement or telling us your opinion of how good it is. Before posting you need to be logged in to Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter. If the text looks too small, use the keys to enlarge (PC: [Ctrl]+) (Mac: [Command]+); to reduce size use "-" instead of "+".