Dog Safety
Tips For Dog Owners

Dog Safety — Keep Dogs Safe and Alive

Two shepherds in a "friendly" dog park

You are responsible for maintaining the safety of your dog at all times. Your dog depends on YOU to keep her/him safe throughout it's life.

Here are some of the most common hazards your dogs are likely to run into: (Besides off leash dog parks)

Backyards and Playgrounds
  • Swing — Moving swing seats can seriously injure dogs.

  • Teeter-Totter's — can come down on your dog’s head or break the back of a Dachshund or other small dog.

  • Playing Kickball and Soccer. Large, fast moving balls and kids can injure dog's bodies and eyes.

  • Dogs LOVE the sweet taste of automobile antifreeze and windshield wiper fluids. They are highly toxic. Watch for these chemicals standing in puddles where your dog is going.

  • Dogs can quickly pick up a chicken bone or rat poison trap while on a walk and get in trouble before you know it. A tiny bit of rat poison means a long, slow death. (Happened to us) A chicken or turkey bone splinters in the throat.

  • Most lawn fertilizers are toxic to dogs. The dog gets the fertilizer on his paws and comes indoors where he licks his paws clean. You now have a very sick dog and a trip to the vet.

  • If you patronize "off leash dog parks," keep a close eye on your dog all the time. A dog park can be dangerous. Small to medium size dogs are stolen by thugs for "bait" in dog fighting rings. A dog park is a good place to pick the parovirus. Impromptu dog fights are also common in the public dog park.

  • Some dogs have allergies to tree and grass pollen. This shows up in the Spring. If your dog is licking his legs and paws, coughing, scratching and just not acting right, it could be an allergy. Our vet told us to wipe our small dogs off with a moist paper towel each time they come indoors.

  • Poking and scratching of the eyes. Be dog safety alert. Don’t let dogs run through thick underbrush and vegetation where they can get small stems and twigs stuck in their eyes or scratches on their eyes. A trip to the vet for eye surgery can cost up to $300. (In our area, at least)

    Note - Dog Safety should include you're ability to help the dog in event of an accident or illness. We are starting a Dog First Aid section and urge you to see what we're doing.

    Want a complete list of dog poisoning products? -- Things to keep out of reach of your dog or cat? There's a lot of harmful stuff around the house and a glance at the page is a good idea.(Link opens new window)First Aid includes PREVENTION when possible. The link above is informative.

Protect the dog when driving. Leave the window
up a bit. When parked, NEVER leave a dog in a closed car!!

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Automobile and Home

Here are 12 situations in the car and home that can be hazards to your pet:
  1. Dog’s head out of car window. Dog can get hit in face or eye with flying objects and blinded.

  2. Small dog in doggie car seat. Here's another dog safety thought for the car: There are commercial dog seats intended for small dogs for the passenger side. They attach to the headrest. If the airbag deployed on the passenger side, your dog would suffer a broken neck at minimum.

  3. This is an important dog safety tip: Do NOT carry dog in front seat of car at any time, period! The dog is unrestrained and at high risk. Even if you just step on the brake suddenly the dog will plow into the dashboard or windshield.

  4. House Doors and Windows, Many dogs and cats escape through these openings when left unattended or opened without care. Animals have a natural curiosity to see what's "out there" and will take advantage to explore the neighborhood if you make it easy for them to slip through openings.

  5. Washer and Dryer openings invite smaller pets to climb in and sleep. You won't know they're in there when you see the open door or lid and close it. Keep doors and lids closed.

  6. Fireplaces can burn a pet. Their coat insulates them and can overheat. Also, pets get very sick if they eat the ashes.

  7. Give your dog only medication prescribed by a vet. Human medications can be lethal to dogs, especially small dogs. Keep your medications out of reach of your dogs and kids.

  8. Keep your dog away from rat poison and all other kinds of poisons. They kill not only rats. Believe me, I have learned this the hard way. If you suspect your dog has been into poison, call the Animal Poison Control 24 hours a day at 1-888-426-4435.

  9. Balconies - Small dogs (especially) (and cats) can take quite a fall off high balconies with widely spaced supports. Add screen or fencing if the bars are spaced far apart and your puppy can slip through. (And, dogs DO fall of balconies!)

  10. Bathtubs and Sinks. Very small dogs can drown easily just like a baby. Keep small dogs out of the bathroom.

  11. Electrical cords, extension cords can electrocute your dog is he chews on them.

  12. Toilets have water that is unhealthy for pets. Al;l kinds of bacteria and germs can form in the bowl. Keep the lids closed and be sure your dog has plenty of clean water in his own stainless steel bowl at all times.

Always Keep Your Dog In Sight!

  • Car, home and everywhere! Dog safety never rests! If you have medium or small dogs, keep your eye on them all the time unless they are concealed in a fenced backyard or indoors. Members of dog fighting rings are always on the lookout for “BAIT” dogs to throw in their dog rings so their fighting dogs have something to practice chewing on.

    This is a horrible thing and you certainly don’t want your dog to die that way! They’ll steal small dogs from cars, back yards, off porches, anywhere they can get to them, so please, WATCH OUT. The same was mentioned above in the off leash dog parks.

    Caution When Getting A New Dog

    Don't break the bank account!

    A reminder... your new dog or puppy is going to cost you plenty of money for not only dog food and basic supplies but that trip to the vet, a crate for house training, adequate chew toys and the list goes on.

    Don’t make the mistake of spending all your money at the breeder! If you are looking at a puppy and the cost is $700 and you have $1000 to spend, you may be far short when you get home. It’s likely to cost you $1200 by the time you pay for everything the new dog will need in the first year.

    There are lots of extras to buy when you bring a dog home including the vet bill and spaying or neutering which must be done plus medicine if the vet finds any unforeseen problem and that does happen sometimes and of course grooming may be needed plus coats and a sweater for some climates and breeds.

    My Take On Dog Parks
    The Off Leash Dog Parks System

    A dog park is a large parcel of grass laden land with plenty of trees where numerous dogs can run and frolic free and OFF LEASH.

    They are not always fenced in areas, but most are. The dogs have complete freedom to roam, sniff, run, AND FIGHT. Dog safety? No.

    Some dog parks charge a nominal fee for use. Dog safety was never considered but picking up after your dog was. A poor trade-off. The dog park concept is nice but the actual function is questionable.

    In too many cases that I have observed, the dog park and dog safety don't seem to go together. Off leash dog parks are a disaster where dogs run loose while too often sick and too often aggressive dogs get into trouble. Dog fights are the norm. I’ve visited 9 dog parks across the USA at various times and it was either my luck, or each dog park was about the same.

    People bring their dogs to the dog park without proper vaccinations. Dogs come with disease that they pass on to innocent, healthy dogs. Taking your innocent, healthy dog into the off leash dog parks is a real crap shoot. You don’t know what’s going to happen.

    Too often, dogs with aggression problems are left to roam loose and attack any dog they want, unattended by their owners who sit on a rock somewhere out of sight smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, enjoying their own idea of a dog park. Dog safety is far from their minds.

    The off leash dog parks DO have rules. The problem is too often the rules are not enforced strongly enough and there needs to be only one fool with his dog to spoil it for the rest! Even the "private" off leash dog parks can lack supervision and dog fights can break out, so dog safety is always a worry.

    In thew name of dog safety, avoiding off leach dog parks is a suggestion. Do as you want, but be careful because dog fights do happen and anytime dogs congregate, there is the chance of disease spreading.


    Dog safety is mostly common sense and observation. Think ahead at what COULD happen if... (Much the same as you would with a baby or toddler in the house.)

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