Keep Your Pet Safe During Labor Day Festivities

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Labor Day always feels like the last hurrah of summer. Sure, many kids are already back in school and the real last day of summer is still a couple of weeks away, but in backyards and parks, on balconies and patios, grills are being readied and tables are being set. It’s time for one final summer party.

I hate to be a wet blanket — or wet beach towel — but I do want to remind everyone that the Labor Day weekend is no time to ignore the hazards of summer. As with many other holidays, the long Labor Day weekend promises to be a busy one at veterinary emergency centers. Keeping your pet safe, though, is easy to do. This year, spend your Labor Day celebrating another great summer — not patching up an injured pet.

Prevent an Escape

While nothing tops the Fourth of July when it comes to lost pets (fireworks send many pets fleeing every year), any time you break from routine, you up the risk of a pet escape. If you’re having guests over to the house, particularly younger kids, they may not be as careful about closing doors and gates as you are. And when you’re busy entertaining, it’s easy to overlook that your pet has gotten out. Visiting someone else's home with your pet? You might not notice right away that the dog you thought was by your side isn’t there any longer.

I’m not suggesting you leave your pet at home if he’s welcome at the party, or lock him up when company comes over. But do check that your pet is wearing a collar with ID (and license, if required) — or better yet, ID and a microchip, with current contact information. Keep your dog on leash in crowded parks or other open areas, and give someone else the task of keeping doors and gates closed if you’ll busy welcoming guests or manning the grill. A lost pet — or one hit by a car while roaming after escape — is a tragedy that can often be prevented.

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