Since my "other" job in life is as a Licensed Veterinary Technician, I have an opportunity to see many pets in a clinic situation. Two NON-veterinary things can EASILY be done by pet (especially dog) owners to save your pet from VERY preventable emergencies.
1. HAVE SUFFICIENT IDENTIFICATION FOR YOUR
You may have noticed that I mentioned a "Home Again" tag. I have ID chipped each of my dogs because it is PERMANENT information as well as POSITIVE ID that the dog is mine. A small chip the size of a grain of rice is implanted by your vet and can be scanned if the dog is found. In addition, an ID tag with a toll free number allows the person who found your pet a quick and easy way to locate the owner. Tattoos are OK, but I, for one, wouldn’t have the slightest idea where to call if I found a dog with only a tattoo! Ask your veterinarian about permanent ID options.
2. HAVE SUFFICIENT CONTROL OVER YOUR PETS!
Whatever you train your dog in, is what he should ALWAYS leave the house in. The same people I have taught in obedience class, clip their leash to their dog (some have no leash at all - and their dog "won’t listen") on their buckle ID collar and the dog drags them all over the clinic. THIS IS ONE REASON TO TRAIN YOUR DOG - to behave in strange, scary, or different situations! If you train in a slip ("choke") collar, or a head collar, or a pinch collar, or a no-pull harness then THAT IS WHAT YOU HAVE ON YOUR DOG EVERY TIME YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE! First, you have the control you trained with, and second (and MOST important!) the collar /harness you use then also becomes symbolic to your dog. Because of this meaning to your dog, you may not even have to USE it - your voice control may be all you need - but the collar is there to reinforce. This is what training is all about - so the reinforcement becomes much less, and all they need are reminders.
There you have it. Two very simple - yet potentially life-saving - tips to protect your pet.
Pam Young, LVT
Copyright 1996- 2006, Pam Young