Where Does Pet Safety Fit In With America’s Protests and the Pandemic?
While it may not be the most comforting thought, Americans are not alone in our attempts to make sense of our upside down world. People around the world are struggling to cope with the immense challenges of COVID, and social unrest has reached a boiling point in global and local communities.
But where do our pets fit into this new paradigm? Pet safety is always a priority, but there are new threats to their normal city-living routines.
There are easily a million pets living in NYC homes, and more than half of them are dogs. In fact, the rate of pet adoption is higher in urban areas than anywhere else – for good reason. City dwellers are keen on providing the best possible lifestyles and living conditions for our pets.
Pet Safety in the City
If you live in an apartment that is on an upper floor, be sure to test the windows, balconies, fire escapes, and screens for any possible issues. Pet proofing can prevent accidental falls, known as “High Rise Syndrome”.
Cats are generally happy inside their own domains, although they may like to explore courtyards, gardens, or even city streets if they’re leash trained.
Dogs, on the other hand, have to go outside to conduct their “business”, socialize, and take in some much needed exercise. This time of year, it is critical to avoid the hot pavement during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. Risks to your dog include dehydration and heat stroke, but injuries sustained to the delicate paw pads can be very painful and slow to heal. If the concrete outside is too hot for your open palm, it’s too hot for your dog.
Most dogs that grow up in the city are highly accustomed to being around strangers, unfamiliar pets, and large crowds. That doesn’t mean they’re always relaxed or know how to behave. Commands like “sit”, “stay”, “down” or “leave it” are essential to pet safety on busy streets. They must know not to run, bark at strangers, or jump up on anyone. They must have experience with loud traffic, stairwells, crowded entryways, other animals, elevators, and so much more.
If your pet is not accustomed to seeing YOU in a mask, they might find people on the street in masks even more alarming. Even the most well-behaved dogs can become easily spooked by circumstances they deem new or threatening. Help acclimate your pet by wearing your mask here and there around your pets, give praise or treats and help them feel less anxious about this new facial development on humans. Do not assume you know how your pet would react if adults or children in masks stop to stay hello and get too close – help your pet with this transition.
Just Another Day
Pet safety is also about being sure they are comfortable at all times. This might mean that you have to go to a certain spot for them to go potty, or frequent a nearby park.
- While out and about, be sure that your pet is never a target of another pet’s aggression or over-excitement.
- If you do not want your dog to make new friends during the pandemic, be sure to clearly request that another person’s dog leave your pup alone (and always ask another dog owner if it’s okay for your dog to say “hello”).
- Dog parks can be great opportunities to run around off-leash, but always have eyes on your best bud.
Pet Safety During Protests
We are no strangers to large gatherings of peaceful protesters in and around NYC. Generally, it’s ideal not to bring your pet to a protest. Leave them at home where you know they’ll be safe and secure. If you happen to accidentally come upon a protest with your dog or if you’re walking through an area afterward :
- Reign in their leash so they remain close to you.
- Be careful for any debris on the ground, like broken glass, shards of metal, and litter.
- Try to steer clear of moving groups of people.
- Reassure your dog that any frightening noises are going to pass.
- Exit the situation quickly instead of waiting to see how your dog will fare.
- It only takes a moment for a pet to get loose and panic – make sure your pets are properly leashed with a well-fitting collar, do not use retractable leashes, make sure your pet is microchipped and that the microchip info is up-to-date with your contact information.
Here For You
All Creatures Veterinary Hospital of Brooklyn is always here to help you and your pet maintain the balance between pet safety and happiness. Please contact us with any questions.