Do you love dogs? We love dogs! (That’s Bunny in her power pose, accompanied by Chili in the background and Oakley checking out the course.) Whether you’re a safety manager, quilter, DJ, teacher, wedding planner or anything else, you probably have a furry little friend at home. Especially if you’re a dog groomer!
This week the Crufts dog show is happening across the pond. You can catch up online if you’re not planning to fly out there. Unlike our Westminster Dog Show, they have lots of other competitions in addition to the breed exhibition: agility, obedience, flyball, and more.
Even if you’re not planning to ship your pup across an ocean, there are some safety precautions for your pooch to keep them healthy and safe. They might not be showing at the dog show, but let’s face it: our pooches are #1 dog in our hearts.
Pupper travel safety
- Keep them out of the driver’s seat and in the back
We know you love your dogs, but don’t drive with them in your lap. Nearly ⅓ of drivers with a dog admit to distracted driving with their pooch!
They can stay in the back in a crate, or with a harness. A crate is safer in the event of an accident, but harnesses can also help protect them from being thrown around the car in the event of a sudden stop or other incident.
- Safely restrain them
Do you let your kid stick their head out of the window? It’s not good for dogs either, as they can be injured by debris and have dangerous particles enter their lungs and eyes.
Dogs are known to jump out of windows, as well as car doors, when you reach your destination. Hundreds of dogs are lost this way each year. Don’t let your beloved pet suffer the same fate! If you don’t already have them harnessed, make sure they’re on a leash before you open the door.
- Keep them hydrated and with you
You might have noticed that your dog pants more on road trips. They’ll be thirsty! Make sure they have plenty of water to drink in the car, or take more frequent rest stops so they can drink.
Don’t leave them inside the vehicle. In 10 minutes, the temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees, even with the window cracked open, on an 85-degree day. Dogs may also attract thieves, even when you think the air is cool enough for them to stay inside. Don’t do it.
Not the best way for you to travel with your pup, unless you’re taking a private jet! Dogs with pushed-in noses, like pugs and bulldogs, are especially susceptible to being deprived of oxygen. As well as heat stroke.
Whatever kind of dog you have, try to fly with them in the cabin with you. You’ll need to arrange your flight well in advance. Ask if they have special requirements as far as immunizations and carriers go. You will need a carrier if you’re going to fly commercially with your pet.
Ships and trains
Not all cruise lines and trains accept your pet for traveling. Check their policies first!
Pooches and patios/porches/balconies
Your dog can come out with you on your balcony, as long as they can do it safely! Here are some things you need to consider.
It’s important that your railings be strong enough to prevent your furry friend from breaking them down when they get excited.
Be aware of whether your pet can stick its head (and body) between the railings. Or whether it could get stuck. If so, add in netting, chicken wire, plexiglass, or other material to prevent it. Champion chewers might get through netting pretty quickly, so if you have one, consider plexiglass instead.
Adding netting and plexiglass can also prevent your dog from dropping a toy off the balcony and then trying to retrieve it.
- Collar bumpers
These are stuffed collars that prevent your pooch from sticking their heads between the railers. They’ll bump gently off the railing instead.
- Avoid poisonous plants and leaving out chemicals and grills
There are a number of plants that are bad for your pup. Some non-toxic plants are basil, jasmine, African violets and pansy orchids. Stay away from tulips, azaleas, peonies and lilies. They may be popular for humans, but they can be deadly for dogs.
Likewise, ensure that they don’t have access to dangerous chemicals like antifreeze and grill cleaner. Keep those sharp pointy grill instruments somewhere your dog can’t reach them or be injured by them.
- Friendly furniture and weather protection
Your doggo needs a comfy place to settle down with you. Make sure the cover is water-proof and machine washable, and the insert is weather-resistant to avoid mold or mildew. Cotton is not a good material for a dog bed.
If you get hot summers, consider a raised bed so air can circulate underneath.
It’s also a good idea to have a pup potty on your patio, just in case. This is NOT a substitute for regular walking, though! Put a mat underneath to protect your downstairs neighbor.
Have a shelter for them against rain, wind, etc. This could be an umbrella or dog house. If you have neighbors above you, it can also prevent them from being hurt by anything spilled or dropped from above.
They need water available at all times. A dog water bowl is best – don’t let them rely on empty planters, which may or may not be safe for them.
- Be a helicopter parent
Don’t let them stay out by themselves for a long time. The balcony is not a substitute for a crate. It’s too easy for them to get into trouble when they’re left unsupervised! You’re also more likely to get complaints from your neighbors if your dog is outside barking.
Grooming and your good boi
Keep you and your pooch safe during the whole process.
- Get your dog used to brushing
Brushing regularly takes care of a lot of grooming issues! If you’re removing the clumped and dead hair, you probably don’t have to bathe them much. Use a brush that your dog tolerates well.
- Bathe them with good-quality yet diluted shampoo
Harsh chemicals aren’t good for your dog’s skin or coat. Make sure it’s a high quality shampoo. Dilute it a bit, which not only cuts down on the cost, but also helps it rinse faster.
- If you’re going to give them a haircut, get pro clippers and a grooming table
Lifting your dog up off the floor is the best way to give them a haircut. Some professional groomers use folding tables which they lift up to save their own backs too.
Professional clippers ensure that you won’t be sawing away at their fur. Make sure your pooch’s fur is dry before you start cutting (unlike human hair!) Keep your other hand along the edge of their ears as you’re trimming around them to make sure you don’t accidentally nick the ear.
- Nail clipping
Here again, special clippers will help you quickly trim the nails so you don’t unnecessarily stress your pup out. If their nails are clear or white, stop when you see the (pink) quick of their nails. If they have black nails, trim until you see a solid black dot.
Make sure you have styptic powder available to stop the bleeding if you clip a little too far!
Keep your dogs safe so you can enjoy a long life and lots of joy with them.
What are you doing to keep your doggo safe? Let us know in the comments!