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Pet Safety Tips

Did you know?

Chocolate may be your favorite treat but these treats should stay in the hands of people and not pets. Chocolate is a potent stimulant that can produce potentially life threatening toxic effects in your pet. Your pet might begin to vomit, have diarrhea, experience nervousness and anxiety that could possibly lead to death.

Here are some more tips to keep your pets safe.
  • Pet Preparedness

    Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Whatever plans you make for yourself, remember to include your pets. If you're riding out the storm in the home of a family member, friend or neighbor, take your pets with you.

    If you stay at home, remember to stay together. Keep your pet in a crate or carrier and find a safe area where you will all be together. Keep their collar and tag on in case you get separated. It's always best to microchip your pets since they tend to lose their collars.

    We encourage pet owners residing in an evacuation zone, unsafe structure or trailer to come to a pet-friendly evacuation center.

    Learn more about Pet Preparedness.
  • Dog Owners Driving their Pets

    • For dogs in a car, place the dog in the back seat and lower the window a few inches. Allow the animal enough room to stretch out.
    • Once the dog settles into a spot, tell him to stay put. Repeat the command whenever the dog attempts to move.
    • Keep your car cool when transporting your dog.
    • If the animal will be riding in the bed of a truck, make sure to tether it with a safety harness or a secured crate.
    It is not illegal to have a loose dog in the cabin of a car. It is only against the law to transport the dog in an open-bed truck if the dog is not confined or restrained.

    To secure your pet, you might consider purchasing a pet seat or dog safety belt. Smaller pets can be placed in carrier bags; larger breeds in crates.
  • Fourth of July

     
    For most people, Fourth of July celebrations mean having fun lighting fireworks, hosting parties or taking a picnic out to a fireworks display. However, these festivities can cause a lot of undue stress for our pets – and may even be dangerous.  Historically, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters.
     
    Fireworks and loud celebrations can scare pets and may cause them to run away. Here are some tips to make sure your Independence Day is fun and safe for both you and your pets:
     
    • Make sure your pet is wearing a well-fitting collar with up-to-date license tags, and consider having them microchipped.
    • Keep pets indoors. Walk your dog, and feed pets early, before the fireworks begin.
    • Identify a safe, cool and secured area indoors for your pet where it’s quiet, or turn on some gentle music to help avoid undue stress and injury.
    • If you are going out to a fireworks display with the family, leave Fido and Miss Kitty at home in the safe area set up for them and give them a special treat or toy.
    • Consider an anxiety or thunder jacket.
    • We know lit fireworks can cause injury and burns, but unused fireworks if ingested by a pet are toxic and can cause serious illness.
  • Winter Holiday Season

    'Tis the season to celebrate with family and friends for the holidays, but it's important to keep in mind the safety of your pets. With the proper preparations, you can ensure you and your pet can have a wonderful holiday season.
    • Be sure your tree is anchored securely so it doesn’t fall should your pet tug on it.
    • Keep your pet away from the tree water as it may contain traces of fertilizer or bacteria that can make pets sick.
    • Sweep up fallen tree needles quickly as they can also cause stomach upset and may even cause gastrointestinal irritation.
    • Keep your pets away from poinsettias, holly and mistletoe. These can also make your pet sick and depending on the amount consumed, can cause severe reactions including seizures and possibly death.
    • Place candles out of reach from your pet as they may try to reach for the candle, increasing their risk of being burned.
    • Keep wires, batteries and ornaments out of their way.
    • Make sure to keep pets away from the table and do not leave food unattended.
    • During the holidays there are a lot of visitors, so give your pet a quiet place to rest, away from the noise. This is especially important on New Year's Eve.
  • Halloween Tips

    Keep your pet in a quiet place, away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities. You may know that the miniature monsters and goblins who come knocking on Halloween aren't real, but pets don't. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and could become frightened or agitated by the unaccustomed sights and sounds of costumed visitors. In addition, frequently opened doors provide a perfect opportunity for escape, which can go unnoticed during all the commotion. Be sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags in case of an accidental getaway. Keep your furry little monsters safe during trick-or-treat time with the tips below provided by The Humane Society of the United States:
    • Place live flame decorations like candles and jack-o'-lanterns out of your pet's reach. Curious critters risk being singed or burned by the flame. They could also easily knock over a candle or pumpkin and cause a fire.
    • Keep candy away from pets. All those sweets may taste great to critters, but candy, especially chocolate, can be toxic to pets. Candy wrappers can also be harmful if swallowed. Instead, tempt your pet with a few of his favorite treats.
    • Resist the urge to put your pet in a costume. You may think your pet looks adorable dressed as a princess, but most pets don't like the constraints of costumes. If you do decide to play dress-up, make sure the costume is safe for your pet and doesn't constrain her movement, hearing or ability to breathe. Check the costume for parts your pet could chew off and choke on and look for dangling pieces like flowing capes that could injure her.
    • Don't let the family dog accompany the kids on their trick-or-treat outing. Children may have a difficult time handling a pet during the festivities and your pooch could get loose, especially if your dog is spooked by the strange sights and sounds of trick-or-treaters.
    • Keep decorations that pets could chew on, like streamers, fake spider webs, wires and cords from electric decorations out of reach. If pets chomp on Halloween decorations they could choke or become ill and, if they chew on electrical cords, they risk a potentially deadly electrical shock. Pets could also become tangled and injured by dangling cords or decorations.
    • If your pet is coming with you, consider getting your pet microchipped. The microchip helps reunite lost pets with their owners should they get lost.
Animal Services
Alex Munoz, Director

Pet Adoption and Protection Center
3599 NW 79 Avenue, Doral, FL 33122
311 | pets@miamidade.gov311 | pets@miamidade.gov

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