Having a pet can, on occasion, be like having a child. They can be prone to the odd bump or knock, you have to be careful what you leave lying around the house, and you have to keep a very close eye on them when they are out of the house.
The reality is that, on occasion, your pet will have an accident or end up getting injured. On the whole these will probably be minor incidents, but some may require medical treatment. However, with a little care and attention, you can help reduce the risks by knowing what to look for.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) highlights the common dangers that your pets can face:
This can pose a serious risk to your pets, with the potential for fatal injury. If you have a dog, you should always keep it on a lead near traffic and make sure it understands basic commands. You should also make sure your dog is not able to get out of your house or garden and onto the street. Traffic poses a tougher problem if you are a cat owner and allow your cat out. There is actually little you can do aside from trying to encourage it to stay in the garden if it looks like wandering away.
Once again, you will more closely be able to monitor your dog than your cat. If you are walking your dog, be aware of other canines, particularly if you are going to let your dog off the lead. With cats, again you will be leaving things to chance if it leaves your home or garden. Check your cat’s fur regularly to see if it has been in a fight as bites from other cats can be hidden under the fur, and become infected.
In the garden
While your pet may love cavorting in your garden, there are still risks. Watch out for uncovered ponds and dangerous implements and keep rubbish bins firmly closed. There are a number of plants that are also poisonous to dogs and cats, so you will need to be cautious around these. The RSPCA has a comprehensive list of poisonous plants on its website.
In the home
There are plenty of potential hazards around the home that could injure your dog or cat. Be cautious around electric and open fires, trailing wires, unstable items of furniture and hot pans on hobs. Keep all medicines and cleaning products out of reach. Also keep toys and other items that are small enough to swallow out of reach.
It pays to have a first aid kit at home should your pet be injured – you can speak to your vet about what should be kept in it. The PDSA also has advice on this.
And of course, pet insurance is absolutely crucial in case your dog or cat has an accident or is injured. With Direct Line pet insurance, your vets bills can be paid direct to the vet and you are covered per condition. Find out more about our policies and get a quote in our pet insurance section on this website.
Training your dog – Training your cat If you train your puppy or kitten well, this will minimise the risk of accidents in the home and out and about.
Taking pets in the car – how to ensure your pets are safe and comfortable when they travel with you in the car.