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Keep Your Dog Safe When You’re Out and About

It’s a great time to be a pet owner — more cities and locations are becoming dog-friendly every day. At the same time, it’s up to us to take the necessary precautions to keep our dogs safe when they’re out in the world. To help, we’ve put together our best tips for keeping your pet safe outside of your home.



Dog Safety: Traveling Outside Your Home

When it comes to keeping your dog safe in the great big world, first consider the type of place you’ll be taking them. Let’s explore some of the most common places you might take your best buddy.



#1: The Dog Park

First, make sure your dog has been to the vet for the appropriate medications, vaccinations and checkups. You’ll also need a leash, some water and a little luck for some good weather.

Alright, you’ve got the necessities. Now what? You’ll also want to bring your dog’s best behavior. A well-trained and socialized dog will stay safe in most situations, because you can count on them to act appropriately and respond to your commands. Don’t underestimate the power of brushing up on your “come” and “sit” commands, as well as giving your dog plenty of supervised opportunities to safely interact with other pets. The dog park can be an excellent chance to practice these behaviors and lead to more successful outings in the future.



#2: Pet-friendly Stores or Restaurants

If you’re heading to a pet-friendly store, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with any rules and guidelines they may have. Check their website or call ahead to make sure you know what to expect. Based on the location, you may need a certain length of leash, only be allowed to bring certain dog breeds, or need your dog to have a certain type of training. In any case, have a plan for how to manage your dog if they approach, or are approached by, other people’s pets.

If you’re at a restaurant, it’s a good idea to bring some of your dog’s food or treats, as well as their favorite chew toy. Keeping them full and occupied might prevent them from begging for table scraps or searching for dropped morsels.



#3: A Long Trip or Joy Ride

If you’re planning to travel in the car with your dog, start small and build up to your big adventure. Take regular drives together, gradually increasing the distance to help your dog get used to being in the car. Remember to bring plenty of water and food, depending on how long you’ll be gone. You’ll also want to keep the inside of the car cool so your dog doesn’t overheat. And remember: it’s never safe to leave your dog unattended in a car.



A New Way to Keep Your Dog Safe

Regardless of where you’re taking your buddy, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case something unfortunate happens. You’ve probably heard of how microchips can help locate a lost or stolen dog, but you may not know about another technology that can help.

It’s called NOSEiD. Your dog’s noseprint is one of a kind, just like a human fingerprint. By downloading our app and scanning your dog’s nose, anyone who finds your dog will have a faster, simpler way to reunite the two of you. It’s a great way to keep your dog safe while traveling. Give it a try!

  • Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On
    Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On

    Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On

    Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy and Active

    It depends on the breed of dog, but your pet's senior years generally begin at age 7. Louise Murray, DVM, director of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City and author of Vet Confidential (Ballantine, 2008), tells you what you need to know to keep your older dog spry and happy.



    Senior Dog Health: Preventive Health

    At this stage, Murray recommends taking your dog to the vet twice a year. "So much can happen to an elderly dog," she says. Your veterinarian can take blood annually to test liver and kidney functions. "Discovering problems early is extremely important," she says. Your vet can be on the lookout for conditions that often affect older dogs, such as anemia and arthritis.



    Senior Dog Health: Urination, Bowel Movements, and Appetite

    Pay attention to what might be subtle changes in your dog's habits: Is she drinking more water or urinating larger amounts? These behaviors might indicate a liver or kidney problem. Have your dog's bowel movements shifted? This could indicate a digestive issue. Diabetes or digestive problems might cause your dog to eat more but still lose weight. Knowing the dog's patterns can help the veterinarian determine a course of treatment.



    Senior Dog Health: Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medicines

    Continue to use preventive medicines.



    Senior Dog Health: Dental Health

    Clean your dog's teeth daily. If she has tartar buildup, you might need to have her teeth professionally cleaned at your vet's office, which requires sedating your pet.



    Senior Dog Health: Exercise

    Your dog is probably less active, so steady, moderate exercise is best for her now. Don't turn her into a "weekend warrior" who, after lying around on weekdays, accompanies you on a 10-mile hike on Saturdays. This is especially hard on an older dog's joints.



    Senior Dog Health: Diet

    Your veterinarian might wish to put your dog on a senior diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Senior Plus. These formulations contain nutrients specifically geared toward older-dog health.

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