Pet Safety Expert Offers Tips in Honor of May’s National Water Safety Month and June’s National Safety Month
SAN CLEMENTE, CA (June 15, 2009) – According to national statistics, 63% of U.S. households, or 71.1 million homes, have a pet. With Memorial Day weekend rapidly approaching, millions of those pet owners will go on vacation – bringing along their furry members of the family. Since 2005, the number of pets traveling in vehicles has reached an all-time high – having increased by approximately 300%. As most animals travel unrestrained, the corresponding risk to vehicle occupants, pets and first responders called to an accident site is of growing concern.
As it’s great to bring your pet along for the fun, it is also important to be aware of how to keep them safe this summer – when traveling in a car, boat, airplane or simply barbequing in your own backyard. Bark Buckle UP, the leading non-profit organization that tours the United States and Canada, educating and promoting awareness for safety while traveling with pets, has prepared some simple tips to keep your pet’s safe while out and about in the sun.
“Summer travel and outdoor activities with your pet can be a lot of fun, but it also has its share of dangers,” said Christina Selter, national pet safety advocate and founder of Bark Buckle UP. “It is important for all pet owners to plan in advance and take the proper precautions necessary to keep their pets safe on the road, by water and simply in your own backyard so everyone can enjoy the summer accident free.”
From the backyard, to the road, water and sky, Bark Buckle UP has prepared some simple tips that will help increase the number of pets traveling safely and save lives.
CAR, RV AND TRUCK SAFETY
· Buckle Them In: Secure your pet with a travel harness, carrier, crate, tether or dog/cat car seat as an animal can become a projectile in the event of an accident. Statistics show that a 60 pound golden retriever becomes a 2,700 pound projectile during a 35 mph crash.
· Sit in the Back Seat: For their – and your – own safety, always drive with your pet secured in the backseat of your vehicle as airbags deploy at over 200 miles per hour during an accident – that’s faster than you can blink your eyes! This will ensure that they are comfortable and out of harm’s way in the event of an accident.
· Never Leave a Pet In a Hot Car: Never leave a pet unattended inside a vehicle in hot weather as temperatures can reach heat in excess of 120 degrees within minutes. Cracking the window is not enough! Extreme heat can seriously harm or take the life of a pet within 10 minutes or less. If you see a pet in a vehicle on a hot day, call the police or fire department for help.
SAFETY ON THE WATER
· Pet Life Vests: The odds of a pet drowning are 1 out of 1,028. When around water, always ensure your pet is wearing a life vest to provide buoyancy, high visibility and safety should they take an unexpected dip. If your pet falls in the pool or gets knocked off of the boat (perhaps getting injured in the process), or is tired and/or cold from choppy water or sudden storm, a life jacket could save your pet’s life.
· Provide Them With Steps: While the majority of animals can swim, they can not necessarily get out of the water by themselves. Keep a ramp for boats or pools, in case your pet goes in the water when you are not home. Be sure your dog knows how to get out of your pool and teach them where the steps are starting when they are a puppy.
· Rinse Them Off After Swimming: Salt water and chlorine from the pool can irritate your pet’s skin. Always be sure to rinse your pet thoroughly with fresh water following all pool and salt water swimming activities.
· Can You Lotion…My Dog? Light colored dogs and pink noses can easily burn during fun in the sun. Ask your veterinarian about doggie sunscreen that you can spray on your light colored pets. Don’t forget to take plenty of sun breaks and relax in the shade!
KEEPING YOUR BACKYARD SAFE
· Know Your Garden: Be aware of the plants and flowers in your yard as there are more than 700 varieties that have been identified as poisonous to pets – including the lily of the valley, iris, velvet grass and many more. Also, too much fruit will make Fido sick, so watch that they do not eat too much of it! They don’t often pass up fruit that has fallen on to the ground!
· Watch What They Drink: Runoff and pooling water can contain dangerous traces of chemicals such as coolant, engine oil, fertilizers, plant foods and pesticides. So keep an eye on them and don’t let your pet drink water that isn’t fresh!
· Get The Lead Out: Many dog toys or flower planters may have been linked to high lead content levels. Bark Buckle UP tests a wide range of products for lead levels. To view a list of products to avoid, visit our website at www.barkbuckleup.com.
· Protect their Paws: The summer heat can cause hot sand, pavement or mud to burn the bottoms of your pet’s paws. Use disposable pet booties for their comfort and to help protect and keep them safe from the hot ground!
For more information, tips, or the Bark Buckle UP free pet travel safety glove box kit including first responder decal, visit us online at www.barkbuckleup.com.
Bark Buckle UP is the industry’s leading non-profit advocacy group that tours the United States and Canada educating and promoting awareness for safety while traveling with pets. Founded by pet safety expert, Christina Selter, Bark Buckle UP works closely with first responders, police, fire, coast guard, animal rescue nationwide to offer tips and advice surrounding the importance of safe travel for our four legged friends. For more information, or the latest news and statistics, please visit www.barkbuckleup.com.
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· 82% of dogs travel in the car and on vacation (APPMA)
· 98% of dogs travel unrestrained in a moving vehicle (Traffic Safety Reports)
· A 60-pound pet in a 35 mph accident becomes a 2,700 pound projectile.