Dog owners are well aware that the world can be a dangerous place. Keeping your furry friend out of harm’s way can prove challenging, especially when they are puppies. Puppies are inclined to put almost anything into their mouths, which can be a scary feeling for their owners. If you lead a busy life, there is a good chance that you will have to leave your dog at home alone regularly, so you must create a safe and healthy environment.
Understanding the different threats is key to keeping your dog safe. Training is a fantastic way to communicate with your dog, but it can also keep them safe. So, how can you keep your dog safe and away from hazards and risks at all times?
Teach your dog to “leave it”
Every dog owner should teach their pet to “leave it.” If you bring your dog for a walk and they come across something that excites them, they might want to eat it. However, some of these things your dog wants to eat might be poisonous, and if they swallow it, they might need urgent medical attention.
There are plenty of toxic foods and chemicals that can put your pet in danger. Keeping these toxins away from your dog isn’t always possible, especially when the dog is out for a walk, which is why training your dog how to “leave it” is so important.
Luckily, it is simple to teach your dog to “leave it” using positive reinforcement techniques. Just follow these steps to keep your dog safe:
- Place dog food or a treat on the ground in front of your dog.
- When your dog tries to eat it, cover the treat with both of your hands or your foot and tell them to “leave it.”
- Most dogs will want to smell the treat, so don’t be surprised if they sniff around your hands or foot.
- As soon as they stop sniffing, say “good boy” or “good girl” and reward them by giving them the treat. Repeat this over and over until your pet gives up sniffing your hands.
- Place a treat on the ground without covering it and tell your dog to “leave it.” Most dogs will stare at the treat until you allow them to eat it. Use words like “take it” to tell them to eat the treat.
Training your dog in an environment where they feel comfortable is easy, but training outside can prove challenging due to different scents and sounds. Once your dog understands the concept inside the house, try the same training technique in unfamiliar areas. You might struggle to get your dog’s attention at first, but don’t give up.
Keep your dog safe on a hot day
Most dogs love playing in the great outdoors, especially during hot days. But hot weather can be dangerous for your dog, which is why it is not uncommon for dogs to get heatstroke. If you bring your dog out to the park or the beach when the sun is shining, try to find a shaded area where they can stay cool. If you think it is too hot outside for your dog, consider bringing the dog indoors and turn on the air conditioning. Be careful of dog houses because many of them can trap heat inside.
Under no circumstances should you leave your dog inside a closed vehicle. If you need to leave your dog in your car, ensure that the air conditioning is on and a few windows are open. Don’t forget to leave plenty of cold, fresh water so your dog can stay hydrated. Heat exhaustion is a common problem when you leave dogs in closed vehicles.
Try taking your dog for walks in the morning or early evening when it’s cooler rather than walk during the middle of the day. Keep your dog safe by bringing some cold water on their walks so they can take a drink when they get thirsty.
Keep your dog safe around other dogs
Dogs should socialize with other dogs, even when they are puppies, but that doesn’t mean they should interact with every dog they meet. You have to be cautious when your dog is around other dogs, even if the other dog seems extremely friendly.
Most dogs crave attention, especially from other dogs. Some will get overly excited when they meet one of their kind, so you will want to be in complete control of your pet when they are out in the park. Excitement can change into aggressive behavior in a split second, especially with older dogs. You might be tempted to pull on your dog’s leash, but this can make matters worse.
Avoid shouting at a hyperactive dog because negative energy will often lead to unwanted behavior.
However, you don’t want to stop your dog from socializing altogether; in fact, you want to do the opposite. You want your dog to approach other dogs calmly and confidently. If you have a friend or family member with a calm dog, consider organizing a few playdates.
Bring both dogs on a walk, and ask them to sit and stay while they are outdoors. Doing so will keep your dog safe by getting him used to interacting with others, even in new places.
Prevent your dog from getting into fights
Witnessing a fight between dogs is not a pleasant sight. Dogs can sustain severe injuries during a fight, which sometimes leads to death. You might be tempted to jump in to stop the fight, but you might find yourself in hospital by doing so. Never underestimate the dangers of a dog bite.
If you have cold water close by, spray the dogs on their heads. A garden hose or a bucket of water will do the trick.
If there are children or anybody else in the area, ask them to go as far away as possible from the fight.
Although it might not be easy to remain calm during a dangerous fight, you must try your best. If you don’t have any water on hand, try throwing objects towards the dogs to distract them. Of course, don’t throw something that will hurt the animals, but a blanket might work.
Feed your dog a healthy diet
Maintaining your dog’s healthy diet is key to their wellbeing. You can make healthy dog food yourself, but there are many websites selling healthy dog snacks and kibble, such as Scratch Pet Food.
If you are concerned about your dog’s diet, you might want to consider asking your veterinarian for advice. Your dog might have an allergic reaction after eating certain foods, so you might need to see an expert for advice. Some owners are unaware of their pet’s nutritional disorders, so a naturalist will be able to explain to you what your dog can and cannot eat. Even if you invest in the best dog food from Australia, your dog might struggle to hold it down.
It might be tempting to overfeed your dog, especially with dogs with those cute puppy eyes, but you must keep them on a balanced diet. Overweight or underweight dogs tend to have several health problems. If your pet is struggling to put on weight, they might have an underlying health problem, so speak to your local veterinarian for advice.