Keeping your pet happy, healthy and safe should always be part of your holiday plans, and Labor Day is no exception. The idea is to enjoy sharing the celebration with your best friend, not rushing your furry buddy to the emergency vet clinic!
This coming Monday is Labor Day, a time to celebrate the contributions of working people who have helped to make our country strong and prosperous. And by the sides of many of those workers are their companion pets, who are - also working? It’s true - many animals we think of as pets actually work to make lives better for humans. If you missed my series last month on the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards, you can hear it on APR.org. It’s amazing how much we benefit from our animal friends.
Last year on Labor Day, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey dominated the news. Having learned lessons from mistakes made during Hurricane Katrina, Houston’s animal shelter staff and volunteers from a local rescue group set up a shelter within a shelter - a place for people who had pets with them - inside the city’s convention center. It worked so well that those involved have now contributed to a new manual for public officials to use to recreate the model in future disaster situations.
One of the best ways to keep your own pet safe in any situation is to be prepared. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published Pet Disaster Kit Checklists for dogs and cats. Items in the kit include documents, water, food, medications and other supplies. You can find the checklists on their website at CDC.gov.
You can also help your pet stay safe this holiday weekend by taking a few precautions. Even though Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, it’s still hot outside. Make sure your pet has a place to go that is shaded, with plenty of water to drink. At a cookout keep your furry buddy away from the hot grill, too much fatty food, and that garbage can full of bones and other things that may smell great but could harm your pet.
When we are having fun and spending time with our best friends, it’s important to remember that sometimes our celebrations can put our animals in danger. Even when there is no threat of a hurricane, you can avoid a disaster by making sure your furry buddy stays safe in any situation, when you’re speaking of pets.