Pet safety

​Seasonal Safety Tips

​​In the following pages below, you will find safety tips for you, your family, and, of course, your pets. There are different dangers for each season and pet owners should know what to be on the look out for for each season of the year.
There are also a number of holidays during each season of which family and friends gather to celebrate...anything! To make sure that you, your family and your pets stay safe during the holidays, you'll find helpful tips at the bottom of each seasonal page.

To get some travel and boarding safety tips, visit the Animal Care Educationpage.

​Some of the biggest safety factors is keeping your pet current on their rabies shots, making sure that they have their city/county licenses up-to-date, and making sure that they are microchipped.

Animal Care & Control recommends microchipping your pet.  It's permanent identification for your pet.  All of our Animal Care & Control trucks are equipped with microchip scanners and every animal that is picked up is immediately scanned for a microchip.  If a chip is located the animal can be returned home immediately, without having to come to the shelter.  Animal Care & Control also encourages everyone who has a pet that's microchipped to register your pet in our local database for FREE.

Register your pets m​icrochip

Find out when our next microchip clinic will be.

​When the cold weather slips away it brings us comfortable temperatures to go out and enjoy our back yards. We also tend to go for more walks/jogs so we can enjoy the nice weather rather than stay inside of a gym. Spring is the normal mating season for animals and you may run across several on your walks. The following tips will help you prevent bites/attacks and avoid confrontation with any wild animals you may come across.

What do to around a loose dog

Going for a walk, jog, or even a bike ride and see a dog that’s loose?

1) If you see a dog that is loose in the distance, do not try to approach it or call it to you. Just keep a close eye on the dog and watch its movement and behavior. If you’re out for a jog or on your bike, the best thing to do is slow to a walk or get off your bike and walk past that dog until you’re at a safe distance from him chasing after you.

2) Even if a loose dog seems friendly, especially if the owner’s are outside with it, never assume that you can pet it. If a loose dog approaches you, stop and wait for the dog to loose interest in you before walking on.

3) Never run from any dog at any time! When you run the dog’s natural instinct to chase comes out. And since they have four legs and you have two you will never out run them.

4) If a loose dog does approach you, stand still and do not stare at them or look in their eyes. Staring at them will cause confrontation which will likely push them into attack mode. Just fold your arms and keep them in your peripheral vision. They will eventually loose interest in you and walk away.

5) Never scream or yell at a dog. To them it just sounds like you are barking at them and their natural instincts of protection will come out. If you are yelling at them to go home they will take that as a confrontation which will likely lead to an attack.

6) If a dog does attack you knocking you to the ground or you loose your footing and the dog comes after you, quickly and quietly curl up into a fetal position, protecting your neck, face and chest. Keep your hands clenched into fists. Do not yell or kick at the dog. These will just further his attack thinking of you as a moving target. Most dogs will not attack you unless they are provoked by movement or yelling.

7) Not sure what the dog is really saying? A wagging tail or panting tongue does not always mean that dog is friendly and ready for a pet. A dog that goes into a bowing position does not mean it’s ready for an attack. Do some research into a dog’s body language to be sure that you are interpreting his looks correctly. This will help to prevent confrontation and attacks.

Going to a cook-out
Going over to someone else’s house for a party and they happen to have a dog? The following tips will help you prevent any kind of confrontations that may lead to a bite.

1) Let sleeping dogs lie. If you see a dog that is sleeping, do not try to wake it or pet it. Sometimes dogs will go into protection mode and snap out at someone that startles them.

2) If you see a dog eating their food or chewing on a bone or treat, never try to take that away from them. If they are eating something they shouldn’t alert the owner to take care of the situation.

3) Never taunt a dog with food; whether they are allowed to have it or not. Some dogs are not tolerant of being teased and they will bite to get what they want.

4) If you are playing with a dog and they start to become too aggressive during play, drop the toy for play time is over. When they become too excited they might go for your hand or arm and accidently bite you.

5) Never pick up a dog that may not know you. Some dogs are sensitive about being picked up or certain parts of their body being touched, such as ears, feet, and tail. The best place to pet a dog for the first time is under the chin and then their back if they let you. If a dog doesn’t want you to pet them, then leave them alone.

6) If a dog approaches you and starts to sniff you everywhere, even areas you may not want them to sniff you, let them do it. This is their way of getting to know who you are. If you are uncomfortable around the dog, ask the owner to put the dog up while you are there until you feel better about their presence.

7) If you see a dog that is in a pen or kennel, or tied to a post or tree in the back yard, do not try to pet that dog without talking to the owner first. Dogs that are confined to a kennel or tied to a tree is very protective over their territory and usually do not want anyone invading it. If the dog growls, barks, or other shows any other signs of aggression, back away and leave it alone.

8) Before petting any dog, ask the owner about their dog’s behavior first. Be sure that the dog will be friendly by allowing them to sniff you first. If the owner says that the dog will not bite, allow the dog to continue to sniff you. Watch their body language. If they freeze up and stare at you, back off. If they wag their tail and even lick you then you may pet. Be sure that you pet them on their chin rather than on their head. Some dogs are sensitive about a hand approaching their head and might become scared which can lead to a snap. If the dog likes you, you may continue to pet. If they do not, back off.

9) Never get face to face with any dog but your own. Some dogs take this as a threat and will become scared. This will sometimes lead into a snap and sometimes even a hard bite to the face.

10) Try to avoid getting in between two dogs if there’s food or toys around you. Two dogs might get into a fight over these items with you caught in the middle. Do NOT try to break up the fight with your hands. They can grab a hold of your hand thinking it’s the other dog. Sometimes the attack can switch from each other to you thinking you’re also trying to take away what ever they are fighting over.

Hiking and living in the woods

Happen to live in the woods? Enjoy hiking in the great outdoors where there’s only you and the wilderness? We all enjoy walking on our street or sitting out on our decks and patios to feel one with nature. And there’s no better way of observing nature with a friend. Here are some tips to make sure that you and your pets are safe around wildlife in your area.

1) Make sure that your pets are always current on their rabies vaccinations. This could save your pets life if it were to come in contact with a wild animal that could potentially have rabies. Indoor pets are not always safe from the outdoor world either. Bats and other wildlife have been known to enter homes to get out of the elements.

2) Make sure that you secure your trash cans. Only put cans out on trash collection day and secure the lid with bungee cords if it can’t be stored in a garage or shed.

3) Avoid feeding your pet outside. If you must do so, only give your pet the correct amount that it will eat within a 30 minute time period. If they don’t finish it all, pick it up and bring it inside. Any food left outside will surely attract wildlife.

4) While you and your pet are outside, be aware of where your pet is at all times. They could find a snake or opossum lying under a bush and an attack might ensue.5) When your pet is left outside, be sure to check on them often. Chain link fences and invisible fences may keep your pet in but it does not keep wildlife or other animals out.

Holiday Safety Tips

Holidays can be a time of joy, fun, laughter, and good times. But not every member of the family will be able to partake in the festivities. There are many hazards when it comes to the holidays. Each year during the various holiday seasons, thousands of pets are seriously injured and/or become deathly ill. As your family gathers to celebrate the upcoming holidays, keep in mind the dangers that could potentially exist for your 4-legged friends.

1) Some flowers that are handed out on Valentines Day could be potentially dangerous to your pets. Lilies are potentially fatal to cats.

2) All chocolate should stay away for your pets. It has been known to be fatal to animals, especially dark chocol​ate. Other foods such as onions, grapes, and raisins are also poisonous to your pet.
3) All other candies and alcohol should be kept out of your pets reach. It can cause drop in blood sugar, seizures, tremors, and even coma. It can even send an animal into respiratory failure.

4) Any flowers received that have thorns should be kept in a place that your pet cannot get to. Any thorns that are ingested could get stuck in the stomach or intestines and will require surgery to remove it.

5) Be mindful of all burning candles in the home. Pets can knock them over and get burned or even start a fire.

6) Keep all wrappings and package decorations away from pets. As soon as it is unwrapped, throw it out or put it some place where your pets cannot get to it. These may seem like fun for your pet but they can get stuck in the throat or intestines if ingested.

With these tips in place you can make your Spring, and holidays enjoyable for the entire family.

Summer time can bring warm, sunny days to humid and stormy nights. If your pet starts to change their behavior, there could be a storm on its way. They tend to whine or meow more, constantly pace, and hide under a bed or couch. Here are a few things you can do to make them more comfortable and feel safe during the stormy ​activity.​

​1) Set up a quiet area for your pet. It can be in a closet or in a dark room.

2) Try to keep them away from windows. Some dogs have been known to break through panes of glass in an attempt to get away from the storm.

3) Get your pets microchipped! Should they decide that those fireworks are just too loud and scary they may very well do what ever they can to get away. If they do, that microchip will get your pet home, as long as it is up to date with the most recent phone numbers and address. Shelters and vets get over run with stray animals during the storm and firework seasons.

4) If your pet is outdoors and there is inclement weather on its way, bring them inside. It will help keep them safe from lightening strikes and keep them dry.

Enjoying the great outdoors

Spending time outdoors with family, friends, and your pets can be enjoyable for all. But even during the summer month’s precaution must be taken to keep your pet healthy. The following tips will help you keep your pet safe and happy.

1) When the temperature gets as high as 80 degrees the sun can be devastating. Dogs cool down by panting and sweating through their paws. Be sure to limit the amount of time they stay outside and bring them in if they begin to pant too heavily/quickly.

2) Watch those shot nosed breeds! These dogs need special care in warm/hot weather as they can overheat quickly and die. They have to work harder to breath and when they can't get enough air to help cool them down, they can overheat quicker.

3) Watch those young puppies and older adults! They need extra care in the hot weather.

4) If your dog stays outside be sure that they have a dog house that is placed in a cool and shaded place. Even a tarp placed over the top of a dog kennel can help block the sun and heat. Dogs don't like the heat anymore than you do. Make sure that the area you picked is shaded through out the entire day.

5) Be sure they have plenty of water at all times so they can keep hydrated. Without the proper amount of water they can be prone to heat stroke. To prevent the dog from tipping over the bowls dig a hole and put a 5 gallon bucket in half way down.

6) Heat and humidity can cause dehydration and heatstroke.
    Signs of dehydration: panting, drooling, a dry mouth, gums and nose, reduced skim elasticity, reduced capillary refill time and sunken eyes.
    Signs of heatstroke: raised body temperature, heavy panting, drooling, vocalization, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, vomiting, bright red tongue, and collapse.
    Dehydration and heatstroke come on quickly and cause death. Remove your dog from the heat into a cool place and pour cool (but not cold!) water on them to help cool them down. Then contact your vet right away.

7) Mosquitoes cause heartworms in dogs and cats if they are not protected. Heartworms are very hard to treat and are potentially lethal. To protect your pet from heartworms be sure to get the monthly heartworm preventative from your vet.

8) Ticks and fleas can infest your dog very quickly and if they are not eliminated they can cause dehydration and loss of weight. Ticks also carry lime disease that is not only deadly for your pet but can be transferred to you. To protect your pet from fleas and ticks ask your vet for a monthly topical medicine.

9) Dogs and cats feet are very sensitive to hot pavement.

10) Never leave your pet in a car. Ever! Even with a car parked in the shade, and the windows rolled partly down, and leaving out water, the temperature inside can reach 10 degree’s higher than the outside in just 5 minutes. This means that your car turns into an OVEN. This can cause heat stroke and even death. It’s best to leave your pet at home if you are running out to do errands. Shaving your dog during the summer months can sometimes help with keeping your pet cool. The fur on your pet will help to protect their skin against the sun. All dogs can get sunburned; especially light skinned dogs. So be sure your dog is not prone to sunburns before they get shaved.

Hiking the great outdoors

Love to go hiking? Love to bring your dog along with you? Going out camping or going for hikes can be great fun and even challenging. Some dogs enjoy a good romp through the wood trails and maybe even climbing up hills and mountain trails. But there are some safety tips that you should know about before deciding of that hike is really safe for your pet.
1) Walking your pet in the early morning or late evening will help to eliminate over heating and heat stroke.

2) Be sure to bring lots of water with you no matter where your walk takes you. Especially for the smaller dogs.

3) Humidity makes it difficult for pets to breathe as well as weigh down their coat. If it’s humid outside you may want to think about shortening the length of time you are out.

4) Be sure to do research on your dog’s breed when it comes to being outside. Some dogs have a harder time in the heat and humidity than others and are more susceptible to having breathing issues. Examples are Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Shih Tzus.

5) When taking your dog on long walks through the woods and trails, be sure to walk your dog on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet. Flexi-leads allow the dog to wander into brush and trees which not only will tangle up you and your dog but may also lead to potential dangers. It will also help to prevent them for eating things off the forest floor they shouldn’t. Some wild mushrooms are toxic to dogs.

6) Snakes are very common to be found among the brush and leaves. As you walk, keep your dog close to you and stomp your feet to keep the snakes away from you and your pet. The sound alerts them to your presence and they will usually head in the opposite direction.

copperhead snake - brown and tan rings with a heart-shaped head

Copperhead Snake - venomous.

copperhead snake - heartshaped head and slit eyes

Copperhead Snake - The heart shaped head and vertical slit eyes are indications of a venomous snake.

black snake - black with white underside and smooth/straight line from head to body

Black Rat Snake - non-venomous.
Eats mice, rats, and even baby copperhead snakes so they are good to have around your house and garden. 

7) There’s also plenty of wildlife in the woods and trails. Keeping your dog leashed will help prevent them from becoming entangled with squirrels, deer and even raccoons.

8) Be sure that your dog is up to date on all their required shots and that they have some sort of ID. Whether it be an ID tag or microchip, ID is the best way to get your dog home to you should he slip the collar or leash and run off into the woods.

9) Always be sure to bring poop bags with you on your hike. As annoying as it might be to pick up after your pet, leash laws and defecation laws are in effect. Even if you’re in the middle of the woods. Most parks and hiking trails have poop stations along the way for your convenience.

10) Be sure you check your dog over for ticks, fleas, and any other scratches or marks after you’ve enjoyed your hike together.

Another fun pass time is swimming in the pool or lake with your dog. Make sure your dog wears a life vest for properly for their size and also help them when they first get in. Throwing a hot dog into a cold pool can cause them to go into shock and ultimately drown. Be sure that they do not spend too much time in the pool with out assistance and constant supervision.

wimming dog wearing a life vest to keep it safe

Holiday Safety Tips

​Holidays can be a time of joy, fun, laughter, and good times. But not every member of the family will be able to partake in the festivities. There are many hazards when it comes to the holidays. Each year during the various holiday seasons, thousands of pets are seriously injured and/or become deathly ill.  As your family gathers to celebrate the upcoming holidays, keep in mind the dangers that could potentially exist for your 4-legged friends.

The following tips will help to keep your pet safe during the Fourth of July celebration.

1) Keep alcohol away from your pets. They can be poisonous and potentially lethal. Other foods such as onions, grapes, and raisins are also poisonous to your pet.

2) Sunscreen and insect repellent that you use on yourself is not safe for your pet. If you feel that your pet needs some repellent on those relentless bugs or might need some sunscreen on their noses, be sure you get products that are specifically made for pets.

3) Lighter fluid and matches should stay out of reach of your pets. Ingesting either of these is poison toward your pet and could result in difficulty breathing, and even kidney disease.

4) Don’t feed your pet anything off the dinner table. Some foods can be toxic for your pet and other foods, such as chocolate, can be lethal.

5) Though playing with glow jewelry may be fun for you and the kids never allow your pets to wear or play with it. The luminescent substance inside could result in gastrointestinal irritation and blockage if ingested.

6) Keep oil products that repel bugs out of reach of your pet.

7) Never light fireworks around your pets! Not only are they dangerous when used around your pets that could result in severe burns and trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, but it’s also potentially toxic.

8) Fireworks are no fun for pets at any time. The fireworks are terrifying to most pets and have even caused some pets to break through windows in order to run away from the noise. It also hurts their ears and could cause damage. Its best they stay home if you are headed to a park or to be kept safe in a room where the noise will be limited if you stay home.

9) Get your pets microchipped! Should they decide that those fireworks are just too loud and scary they may very well do what ever they can to get away. If they do, that microchip will get your pet home, as long as it is up to date with the most recent phone numbers and address. Shelters and vets get over run with stray animals during the storm and firework seasons.

10) When having a bonfire out back, be sure to keep your pet away from it. Coming into close proximity can cause burns from fly away pieces or burn their feet on the ashes on the ground.​

​When the leaves start to turn and the weather becomes cooler, we all start to prepare for school and the following holidays that promote traveling. It’s great to connect with friends and family but it’s not join in your travel plans. Be sure you plan your travel carefully and be choosy about which trips your pet might also enjoy.

Holiday Safety Tips

​Holidays can be a time of joy, fun, laughter, and good times. But not every member of the family will be able to partake in the festivities. There are many hazards when it comes to the holidays. Each year during the various holiday seasons, thousands of pets are seriously injured and/or be​come deathly ill.  As your family gathers to celebrate the upcoming holidays, keep in mind the dangers that could potentially exist for your 4-legged friends.
The following tips will help to keep your pet safe during the Halloween holiday.

1) No tricks or treats for your pet. That bowlful of candy is for the trick-or-treaters, not for your pet.

2) Feeding your pet chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination, heart rate, seizures and even death. Keep the chocolate out of reach. Other foods such as onions, grapes, and raisins are also poisonous to your pet.

3) Candies that contain artificial sweetener xylitol is also poisonous to your pets. Even a small amount can cause sudden drop on blood sugar which leads to lack of coordination and seizures. If a large amount has been ingested, it can cause liver failure. Candy wrappers can cause a choking hazard and intestinal blockage.

4) Halloween decorations such as pumpkins and corn can make your pets stomach upset if ingested. Be sure they don’t try to eat that pumpkin you worked so hard to carve out.

5) Be sure that all wires and cords are out of your pets reach. If chewed on they can cause a shock that could potentially electrocute your pet.

6) Try to find lights that are made for a pumpkin rather than using a candle. If your pet tries to take a bite out of the pumpkin on the window they may knock it down and start a fire.

7) Some pets do not like strangers constantly coming up to the door and ringing the door bell. If they are showing signs of stress place them in a crate or in another room. Also, if your pet is a major door dasher and opening up the door 40 times in one night is just too tempting for them to dash outside and maybe run up to some kids that may be too scared of dogs, place them in a separate room or in a crate.

8) Be sure that your pet has an ID tag or a microchip just in case they make that mad dash across the threshold. This way they can be returned to you if you can’t get them back right away.

With these tips in place you can make your fall, and holidays enjoyable for the entire family.

Brrr…it’s cold outside! The winter months can be brutally cold, and even bring on some snow. Though it may be fun for us there are hidden dangers that follow with cold weather and snow. The following tips will help keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy.

1) It’s best to keep your cat inside. Outdoor cats can freeze, become lost or be stolen, and injured or killed.

2) Cats that stay outside during the cold season tend to crawl into car engines or vents to stay warm. Be sure to bang on the hood of your car before starting up your engine to give the cat a chance to escape.

3) Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs, feet and stomach when they come in out of the snow or ice. They can ingest salt, antifreeze or other dangerous chemicals while licking their paws. Be sure to check the pads of their feet for encrusted ice as they tend to crack from the cold. Though it might look silly,
putting boots on your dogs feet will protect it from the cold and ice.

a cat in the snow next to a dog paw print in the snow

4) Antifreeze is a deadly chemical to pets and it tastes like candy if they manage to find some. If your car leaks any fluids, be sure to wash it down so your animals don’t get into it. When out on walks, be sure that your pet does not get into other driveways that may have antifreeze spills.

5) Dogs should not be shaved down to the skin during the winter months. The more fur they have the warmer they will be. For short coated breeds they should always wear a coat or sweater when they go outside. If you bathe your dog during the winter, be sure to dry them off completely before they go outside.

6) Never leave your pet in the car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

7) Puppies should not be left outside during cold winter months. They are not as tolerant of the cold as adult dogs. Paper-training is a good idea during the cold months when they are having a difficult time adjusting to weather.

8) When your dog spends most of their time outside be sure to increase their food so they can store the proper amount of fat to stay warm.

9) Be sure that your pet has a warm place to sleep if left outside for any amount of time. Dog’s should have a dog house, straw or blankets placed inside and around the opening, and the area should be kept as dry as possible. They should also have clean water at all times. If their water is constantly freezing into one big ice cube then be sure to change it frequently through out the day.

10) When the temperature gets below freezing, bring your pet inside!  Even with thick fur they can be intolerant to the cold and wind and are prone to hypothermia and even frostbite.

Holiday Safety Tips

a christmas tree, turkey, and chanukah menorah to respresent the year end holiday seasons

Holidays can be a time of joy, fun, laughter, and good times. But not every member of the family will be able to partake in the festivities. There are many hazards when it comes to the holidays. Each year ​during the various holiday seasons, thousands of pets are seriously injured and/or become deathly ill.  As your family gathers to celebrate the upcoming holidays, keep in mind the dangers that could potentially exist for your 4-legged friends.
The following tips will help to keep your pet safe during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years holidays.

1) Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t fall over. You may even want to put some kind of barrier around the tree when you are not able to watch your pet around it. Tree water, soil, and even the pine needles can be dangerous if ingested.

2) There are many dangers for a pet that might be around a tree. Ornaments, tinsel, icicle decorations, ribbon, angel hair (spun glass), snow globes (some contain antifreeze), electric lights and cords, and metal ornament hooks can all be chewed, broken and even ingested which can cause serious problems for your pet. Be sure to make these items as inaccessible as you can. Constantly watch your pet around these and when you can’t, place them in a crate or another room so there are no accidents.

3) Make sure that your pet does not try to steal food from the table while the family is feasting. If they refuse to stay away from the food when told to do so then place them in a crate or another room until the food has been put away. Also be sure that the entire family, including the children, knows NOT to feed the pets any food they should not get. Some food hazards that could be dangerous for your pet are: poultry bones (they splinter easily and become logged in the intestines); meats with drippings, seasonings, turkey and ham will upset digestive systems; chocolate is toxic and dark chocolate is more likely to cause death in your pet as there are ingredients that are lethal to them; candy and candy wrappers; alcoholic beverages.
4) Poinsettias, mistletoe, holly and berries, ivy, balsam, juniper, cedar, pine, fir, and hibiscus are all poisonous to your pet. Although they look great for decorating, all it takes is your pet getting a hold of one item and you’re rushing them off to the vet.

5) Keep the fireplace barricaded during the colder days. It’s great to be able to enjoy a warm fire in the fireplace but be sure your pet does not come anywhere around it as they may get burned by flying sparks and ashes.

6) Be aware of all candles as they can get knocked over or come in close contact with your pet if not on high shelves and spark a fire or burn your pet.

7) Be sure that you and your entire family have their medications put away some place safe. Any medications that are left out are fair game as food for your pet.

8) In case your pet becomes too overwhelmed by the crowd and noise be sure to have a quiet area set aside just for them so they can get away from it all.

9) Confetti thrown on New Years can be ingested by your pet and noisy po​ppers can terrify pets causing possible ear damage.

10) Feeding your pet any food that is not specifically made for pets can be potentially dangerous. It’s best not to feed your pet the same things you are eating during your holiday celebration. Specific foods such as onions, grapes, raisins and chocolate are poisonous to your pet.

11) Turkey, sage, bread dough, cake, and other baking ingredients should not be given to your pet for any reason. Accidental ingestion is okay as long as they don’t swallow a large amount. Constantly keep a watchful eye on your pet and when you know you can’t, place them in a crate or another room.​

With these tips in place you can make your winter, and holidays enjoyable for the entire family.