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What to Do When Approached By An Off-Leash Dog


Having a loose dog approach you and your dog while you’re out enjoying a walk can be a nerve racking experience. Is the dog friendly or will they bite? Are they a stray or did they escape from their yard somewhere nearby? Where is their owner? Are they wanting to come play with your dog or are they protecting their territory?

This scenario happens more than it should and it can be terrifying, especially if your dog has had bad experiences with off leash dogs in the past or you have a leash reactive dog who needs their space. Whether a dog has gotten loose from their owner (or the owner has decided to just ignore leash laws in the first place), or if it's a stray dog wandering the area, an off leash dog coming to investigate a leashed dog is a situation that you should try to avoid at all times.

The dynamics between a leashed dog and off leash dog are different than if both dogs were leashed or both were off leash. It’s best to save the greetings for another time, when both owners are present, the dogs are either both leashed or both off leash, and after you’ve had a chance to find out more about the other dog’s behavior and health history. 

So what should you do if you’re out on a walk with your pup and you see a loose dog approaching? There is inherent danger and risk to having a loose dog coming towards you and your dog. These following techniques may help keep your dog safe but every situation is unique. Use your best judgement. You could be putting yourself in harm's way in order to try and protect your dog. Hopefully the approaching dog is friendly and no one gets hurt.

Want to learn more about your dog's behavior and get some training tips? We've  got 101 more for you here!

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Emergency, Safety, Puppy, Dog, Dog Walking, Emergency Preparedness for Pets, aggression in dogs, Off Leash Dog

List of Essentials to Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Pets


If and when disaster strikes, the last thing you want is to scramble for supplies.

Whether you have to hunker down or evacuate to safety, there won’t be much time to worry about finding food, water, and other necessities — and that's if the store shelves haven't been picked clean already.

So it’s vital that you not only have an emergency plan but also an emergency kit — for you and your dog or cat. Hopefully, you will never have to use this kit for the pets in your family. But you will feel a lot better knowing that you have what you need, even if you never need it.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Dog Emergency, Cat Emergency, Pet First Aid Supplies, Emergency Preparedness for Pets

Bee & Wasp Stings — Be(e) Prepared


It's fast getting to be bee, wasp, and yellow jacket season. And that means that these insects, and the sting hazard they pose, will soon be present around your yard and in the parks and other places you walk and play with your dogs.

If your dog or cat is ever stung by one of these insects, or if they ever eat one (that's right Labs and Spaniels... I'm looking at you!), you may be able to treat them effectively at home, but you may well need to take them to the vet. The severity of any pet's reaction to a sting is difficult to predict and can be highly variable, even within the same pet on subsequent stings. So always be aware and know what to look for. Read More

Topics: pet safety tips, pet safety, Pet First Aid, dog first aid, Emergency Preparedness for Pets, Blog, Stings

Pet First Aid... Would You Know What To Do (and What NOT To Do)?


Have you taken a pet first aid course? Did you know that such courses exist?  Would you know what to do if your dog or cat got injured or had a medical emergency?

Knowing pet first aid can provide you with peace of mind and give your pets a better chance of recovery from their illness, injury, or other emergency. You’ll also be able to better recognize signs that your pet is sick or injured and in need of veterinary care. Sadly, too few people are even aware that pet first aid classes exist, let alone have ever taken one.

In our ongoing pet emergency preparedness survey only 21% of the respondents have taken a pet first aid course. Yet, over 71% of respondents report having needed veterinary emergency care for one of their pets.

As a veterinarian, I can tell you that there are many accident and emergency situations where timely and appropriate first aid can benefit your pets. Similarly, though, it's also important that you know what NOT to do. And this is why I encourage every pet owner to learn the basic first aid knowledge that you can easily obtain from an accredited pet first aid course.

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Topics: pet safety tips, pet safety, cat first aid, Pet First Aid, dog first aid, Emergency Preparedness for Pets, Blog

You Need a Plan That Includes Your Dog: Emergency and disaster planning for pets


Do you know where you could go with your pets if you needed to evacuate?

Do you know basic pet first aid? In short – do you have a plan for dealing with possible emergencies and disasters?

Preparing for disasters doesn’t need to be a big deal.  After all, it’s often the “little things” that can make a big difference when the s*#t hits the proverbial fan. A little advanced planning and awareness can go an awful long way.

Fortunately these tenets are no less true for the health and safety of our pets during disasters and other emergencies. But, since our pets don’t typically formulate their own emergency preparedness plans, it’s up to us to ensure that they’re accounted for in ours.

Critical Points in Creating Your Plan

  1. Planning before an emergency hits helps you and your pets.
  2. There are resources to help you.
  3. A disaster plan doesn’t need to be complex.
Including your pets in your disaster planning won’t only make their life easier in the event of an emergency or disaster; it’ll make yours easier, too. After all, you and the rest of your family can’t afford to spend precious time scrambling to find shelter for your pets at the last minute if you need to evacuate. You certainly don’t want to leave them behind!
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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Storms, Hurricanes, Disasters, Emergency, Tornadoes, Emergency Preparedness for Pets, Blog

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.