The life of a city-dwelling pet is undeniably different than for their suburban or rural peers. While city life comes with many conveniences and perks (such as easy access to high-quality veterinary care and pet health specialists), it also includes a certain set of challenges for people and their pets (think crowds, trash, and traffic).
Urban pet safety is an essential component of responsible pet ownership. Your friends at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital are happy to share our tips for safe city living with pets!
Training is Essential for Urban Pet Safety
Responsible dog walking, along with a well-trained pet, is key to urban pet safety while out and about:
Dogs should be able to stay on the sidewalk, heel at curbs, and follow basic obedience commands
Always be on the alert for other potentially aggressive animals while out with your pet
Be sure to ask first before approaching an unfamiliar pet
Hot asphalt and pavement can burn your pet’s paw pads during the heat of summer, so walk your dog on the grass or when the pavement is cool to the touch. Winter streets may not burn, but the salt and chemical deicers used to treat many city streets are potential pet toxins. Clean your pet’s paws after each trip outdoors in cold weather.
Just Say No to Scrounging
You enjoy the incredible variety of sights and sounds the city has to offer, and your pet enjoys the amazing array of aromas just as much. Unfortunately, chasing after them can put your pet’s health and safety at risk. Protect him or her from a potentially dangerous situation with the following tips:
Keep pets away from trash and recycling bins
Don’t allow your pet to investigate trash, leftover food, or unknown substances or items
Use a shorter leash (4-6 feet maximum) for urban walks
Although not all city pets live in high-rises, pets in urban areas have a much higher risk of falling from a great height than pets living in other locales. In fact, it’s common enough, especially among cats, that it has its own name: High-Rise Syndrome.
Always err on the side of caution if you live above the ground floor:
Keep windows and balcony doors closed
Make sure windows are equipped with pet-proof screens and child-proof locks
If you must allow your pet on the balcony, make sure it is screened in and that your pet is always supervised while outside
Watch Out For…Wildlife?
Wild animals are probably the last thing you picture living in an urban area, but cities are generally home to populations of raccoons, possums, rats, and other small animals that have adapted to the urban environment. Wild animals can and do carry diseases, such as rabies and Leptospirosis, that can make both you and your pet sick. Don’t allow your pet to investigate wildlife and keep him or her inside at night.
Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital Can Help!
The best way you can protect your city pet is possibly the simplest; by making sure that he or she wears ID tags and has been microchipped (and registered with current information), and that vaccinations and parasite preventatives are up-to-date. Give us a call for more information, or with any questions or concerns you may have.