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6 ways you can prevent injury in your family pets

While our local Wahroonga vet clinic sees a lot of action from old age, general medical complaints, genetics and illness, we also see our fair share of accidents and injuries as well. Treating accidents and injuries in pets often means healing broken bones, treating damage to skin and the mental anguish related to the event. Any of these events can take a while to heal and can be quite costly in money and time terms. Most are preventable.

Here are some of the ways you can help avoid accidents and injuries with your family pets from your friendly local Wahroonga vet clinic, Fox Valley Animal Hospital

Always properly restrain pets in cars

local Wahroonga vet clinic

Photo by Krista Mangulsone

While humans always buckle up because we know that our seatbelts can save lives, we often overlook the importance of providing our pets the same protection. The problem with not restraining our pets is that in an accident or even when we must brake suddenly, it’s very easy to propel a pet forward. A pet can get injured from hitting seats, windows or windscreen. They can also act as a source of injury for passengers and/or driver as they fly through the air.

No matter the length of the trip or the ability of the driver, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if you are not involved in an accident, your pet will feel more at home and less anxious if they are secured.

When you transport your pets, think about safety first. Use approve pet carriers for cats and pocket pets and proper dog seatbelt, harnesses and/or crates for dogs.

Unsure of what is safe and what isn’t? Pop in to local Wahroonga vet clinic Fox Valley Animal Hospital and we’ll let you know what it is the best option available.

Make proofing your house a priority

Casting a critical eye around your yard and house can save you a lot of mishaps and problems. Hazards in the family home make up a lot of the mishaps we see at our local Wahroonga vet clinic. Most of which comes down to not realising exactly where the problems lie.

A couple of things you need to think about:

  • Pebbles, loose stones, shiny items, small toys and ornaments attract curious mouths. Whether you have a cat or a dog, anything small enough to go in the mouth can be a potential choking or bowel obstruction waiting to happen
  • Fence lines, nooks and crannies in the home and anywhere that bodes well for a squeezing out to freedom or a tight spot to explore should be avoided. Always patch fence lines, cabinet spaces, holes and anything that looks like a great place for hiding or escape
  • Plants can be toxic to your pets. Think about placing veggie gardens out of reach of hungry pets. Check houseplants and garden additions for their compatibility with your chosen pet. Make sure you know your weeds and grasses, so you can spot contact allergies and poisonings early

Think like your pets. What could potentially attract chewing or destruction? What places entice exploration? Look for the trouble spots in your yard and minimise the dangers.

Select the right toys for the right pet

At our local Wahroonga vet clinic, we see a lot of broken teeth, dislocated jaws, bowel obstructions and more from the wrong toy being eaten. This could lead to tooth extraction, induced vomiting and surgery- all of which is not much fun for pet or pet parent alike.

One of the simplest ways to avoid this kind of accident is to buy only proper pet toys from the right kind of sources. We’re talking pet shops, vet clinics and direct from manufacturers like Kong. Avoid cheap toys at discount stores as they can often fail on the safety scale. Choose toys that are appropriate for the age and size of your pet. And scrutinise them for moving parts and choking hazards.

Another way you can make sure you don’t have any toy related incidents is keep children’s toys and toys for other pets in the household away from your family pet. Pets aren’t great at choosing what toy is meant for them, so make sure that any tempting item is kept away from playful pets.

Training, socialisation and de-sexing for the win

Want to avoid injuries through altercations in the dog park, when roaming at home or when dealing with other pets? Training, proper socialisation and de-sexing can all help keep your pet safe.

Fighting is not a natural part of pet life or easily overcome if it occurs. Bites, scratches and abrasions can become infected. Teeth and bones can break in altercations. Courage can be depleted and downright trampled. Plus, you may find that you end up on the wrong side of the council if your pet is not properly monitored, trained and housed.

Spending time to train your pet, allowing them exposure to other animals for socialisation and de-sexing them are essential parts of raising a happy, healthy and problem free pet.

Need a hand with any of these or all three? Call our local Wahroonga vet clinic now to arrange a consult on (02) 9489 4805.

Teach the kids to play gently

Another issue we find at our local Wahroonga vet clinic is sometimes, children don’t always understand animal boundaries.

Whoever said there can be too much of a good thing was probably referring to how much love and pet play can go wrong with kids. Kids naturally push the boundaries with animals. They sometimes don’t have the awareness to recognise how rough play might be. It may be an overwhelming experience for a pet to be surrounded by lots of children and they may take evasive action. Kids can also feed pets the wrong items through play.

Whatever the case, you don’t want to end up with a broken tail or extracting a toy cupcake for a pet tummy by accident.

Instilling respect for a pet’s space from an early age is important. Hugging too tightly can result in crush injuries. Not allowing a pet to leave can cause a pet to take action that could lead to strained, sprained or even broken limbs. It should always be a case of gentle touch on agreeable terms.

While pets and kids love each other a whole lot, unsupervised play is often a bad idea. Not only as it may be injurious to the pet but also because the pet may lash out at the children. This is especially true of kids younger than teenage.

Leaps, loose bits and loony times

Cats and dogs can be curious climbers that put themselves in jeopardy. Mad attacks around the yard, over estimating jumping abilities and all kinds of play activities can lead to problems.

Again, the key here is to think like your pet and remove temptation.

A few things to check for are:

  • Not placing eye-catching or twinkling temptations high up
  • The placement of rails and banisters in relation to getting heads stuck
  • Ensuring big steps, ledges and high trees are not accessible
  • Locking down sheds and places where chemicals, fertilisers and tools are housed
  • Making sure sharp edges cannot pierce or cut your cat or dog as they walk, run and play in the yard
  • Keeping cockroach and rodent baits and traps out of reach of pets
  • Covering compost, grass clippings and never allow access to garden waste or kitchen scraps
  • No access to wood piles during winter or building materials during renovations and clean ups
  • Fencing off fish ponds and other tempting bodies of water such as pools and spas

Whatever situation, spending a little time working through your yard safety can save you all kinds of issues in the future. You can always call on your local Wahroonga vet clinic, Fox Valley Animal Hospital, and our nurses to help you with advice.

 Accidents and injuries can be avoided

By training your pet to move around the house, yard and in public spaces well, you can help minimise issues that pop up. By proofing and making sure temptation for trouble is minimised, you can further reduce the risk.

All pets have quirks and some of those quirks might involve pushing their inner daredevil or eating things they shouldn’t or having a nose for trouble. So, you can never make a pet 100% safe against accidents and injuries. But with proper planning and supervision, you can reduce the risk considerably.

Need a hand working out how to ensure your pet’s safety? Call local Wahroonga vet clinic Fox Valley Animal Hospital today on (02) 9489 4805 to discuss.

About the Author

Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.