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Memorial Day Pet Safety

Doesn't anybody want to play?
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Doesn't anybody want to play?

     For many of us Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of our Summer.  We hope for clear weather, because we want to get together with family and friends, maybe grill outside, jump in the pool or the lake, or go watch a parade, and celebrate!  Our furry friends like to be involved in our activities, too.  It can be fun for them and us, as long as we make sure to keep them safe.

     To start, your pet should be microchipped.  It is a little late to do that for Memorial Day, so if your furry buddy is not chipped, make sure it is at least wearing a collar with some identification so a human could help your buddy find its way home if necessary.  And then, call your veterinarian on Tuesday to make an appointment to get your pet microchipped.  I can’t count the number of postings I see on Facebook where someone has found a pet but cannot locate its owner because it has lost its collar and is not microchipped.  Usually the pet is frightened and wants to be home with its family but that is much more difficult to do with no ID.  If your pet is microchipped, make sure you have registered with the chip company and that your contact information is up to date. 

     Other ways you can keep your pet safe this holiday weekend include monitoring what your pet eats.  Don’t let folks offer your pet food scraps which may contain bones that could be a choking hazard.  Other foods, like corn cobs, can also be a choking risk.  It could result in a trip to the emergency animal clinic – not a fun way to end the celebration for anyone.

     As daytime temperatures warm up, remember to keep your furry buddy in a cool place, out of the sun, with access to fresh water.  Heat stroke in a pet is not only dangerous, it could be fatal.

     Celebrating any holiday with our pets can be fun, but your furry buddy does not understand the dangers in every situation.  It’s up to you to make sure your best friend stays safe and protected, when you’re speaking of pets.

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Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.