15 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

No matter how hard you try, your furry friends will get into shenanigans. We've researched 15 ways to keep your pets safe, even when they're feeling adventurous.

Stay Safe and become a SafeWise Insider!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter to get the best safety news, product info, and deals.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Black and white border collie sitting near a fence on grass with multiple balls in front of him.

Image: Rebecca Edwards, SafeWise

1. Avoid poisonous plants

Although festive plants may add a dash of color to many occasions, they can be highly toxic to your furry friends. Plants such as amaryllis, holly, mistletoe and even Christmas trees can irritate your pet's gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting, seizures, high blood pressure and tremors. For the safety of your animal, it's essential to research various plants before adding them to your collection or make sure that they're out of reach.

2. Keep electronics and cords out of reach

Keep all cords and other potentially hazardous electrical items out of your cat or dog's reach. A plugged-in, uncovered cable could quickly become fatal or cause harm to your pets with a bit of gnawing. Even if a cord is unplugged, chewing on the coating and the copper wire inside can cut and tear an animal's gastrointestinal tract, causing irreversible damage to their organs.

3. Cover trash cans

Cover trash cans with a lid or keep them in a latched cabinet. Pets can often get into trash cans and consume items that are poisonous or that are choking hazards.

4. Thump on your car hood

Thump or knock your car hood to flush out any cats that may have found shelter in your engine compartment or wheel wells. Because cooling engines provide warmth, cats often seek shelter in vehicle compartments.

5. Put away poisons and choking hazards

Never leave small objects and chemicals out near an unattended animal. Bits like string, batteries, laundry, lotion and even food wrappers are all potentially deadly for an unsupervised pet.

6. Put safe flowers and plants in the garden

Certain plants with alkaloids in their bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, are toxic to dogs. Ivy, lilies, aloe, and poinsettias are not cat-friendly and should stay out of reach from your furry friend.

7. Never leave your pets in a parked car

A car's temperature can rise fast even with the windows open or the air conditioning on. According to the Humane Society, on an 85-degree day with the windows slightly open, a car can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes or less. This type of heat can cause organ failure, brain damage or even death for a furry friend.

8. Keep your pet cool indoors and out

Cats and dogs regulate their body heat differently than humans by panting and sweating through their feet. It is important to keep them cool with fresh water, ample shade, or even a cooling wrap or mat.

9. Limit exercise on hot days

Dogs can experience heat stroke due to hot pavements and sidewalks because they regulate body temperature through their feet. The hot surfaces can also cause blisters and burns on the pads of your pet's feet, so limit their exercise on a hot day.

10. Watch the humidity

When animals pant, the moisture from their lungs evaporates, aiding in regulating their body temperature. When the humidity increases, their lungs have more moisture, causing pets to overheat instead of cooling off. Take your pet's temperature to determine if they are overheating. If your dog's temperature is over 104, you should take action fast by giving your dog a cold bath or ice cubes to lick.

11. Check and protect their paws

During winter, salt and other chemicals used to melt snow can irritate your pet's paws if stepped on and their mouth if licked. You can wipe their feet with a damp towel to prevent irritation. Cold weather can also lead to dry and cracked pads on pets' feet. You can fix this problem with a smattering of pet-safe moisturizer.

12. Provide proper pet nutrition

Providing your pet with the proper food type and amount can reduce the chances of obesity-related illnesses and increase their lifespan. Higher-quality pet food can support a healthy digestive tract and boost your pet's immune system. According to the Harris County Humane Society, pets should not consume more than 10% of their daily calories in treats to have a more balanced diet.

13. Get regular checkups

Regular visits to the veterinarian are vital to the overall physical wellness of your cat or dog. Checkups include various screenings to spot warning signs for serious illnesses and diseases.

Thumbs Up
Get help with vet bills

Taking care of our pets can put a dent in the bank account. Check out how affordable pet insurance can be and help alleviate financial worries when it comes to keeping your furry friends healthy and happy. 

14. Take preventive measures

In addition to veterinary checkups, preventive measures can keep your pet safe, too. Preventive medications decrease the chances of illness due to fleas, ticks and heartworms. Dental chews and brushing your pet's teeth also help to fight periodontal diseases by getting rid of plaque and built-up bacteria that can lead to more severe health issues.

15. Prioritize socialization

Socializing your pet from a young age reduces antisocial, fearful and aggressive behavior that can lead to fights with other animals and humans. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, socialization of your pet from a few weeks old to about 18 weeks is critical for their behavioral development.

Savanna Bradford
Written by
Savanna Bradford
Savanna Bradford is a writer trained in animal care and husbandry. Her writing specializes in science, animals and tech.

Recent Articles

woman adjusting thermostat in bright home
The Best Home Security Systems of 2024
After thousands of hours of tests and research, we picked Vivint and SimpliSafe as the...
Man and woman couple wife husband set up surveillance security camera
Best Apartment Security Systems
These renter-friendly apartment security systems help keep you safe and require less commitment than your...
Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2024
SimpliSafe is the best DIY home security system because it's cost-efficient, effective, and easy to...
happy older women sitting together
Best Medical Alert Necklaces
If you find yourself in an emergency, a medical alert necklace can contact trained professionals...