Luck of the Irish (Even If You’re Not an Irish Setter)

Your pet may not be named Lucky, but she can become lucky. Louis Pasteur said, “Fortune favors the prepared.” Make your own luck by planning ahead for your pet’s health and safety.

Keep your pet’s medical records handy. If your pet should require emergency care at a different vet, it’s good to keep her medical history nearby. You could store it in the freezer near your medical information.

Maintain a quantity of your pet’s supplies: food, litter, treats, etcetera. If you should lose your job, your pet won’t suffer.

Periodically examine your pet’s gear. Worn collars, leashes and carriers place your pet at risk for escape and injury. Buy a pet carrier the right size for your pet if you don’t already have one. She should be able to stand and turn around in it. Even if she likes the leash or rests quietly in the car, a sick or injured pet can panic in a vehicle. Or, if someone else must take her for emergency care, she may need a crate for additional safety.

Consider micro-chipping your pet. Many pets get lost, even from responsible owners. Since it’s fairly easy to slip a collar, micro-chipping offers foolproof identification.

Use a pet sitter instead of a kennel if your pet doesn’t travel well. Most pets would rather stay at home and a pet sitter can give your pet more one-on-one attention to look for health issues while you’re away.

Take your pet to visit the vet for regular check-ups and follow the vet’s advice for your pet’s health issues. Consider your vet, along with your pet sitter and groomer, as partners in your care of your pets.

Use flea and heartworm protection. Any pet who goes outside or has contact with humans who go outside needs parasite protection. Since fleas can hitchhike on human clothing, pets need your help in staying safe from pests.

Prevent health issues by providing plenty of exercise and the correct amount of good-quality food. Fit pets stay healthier than unfit pets, just as with humans.

Periodically survey your home for pet dangers such as dangling electrical cords, which present a chewing hazard and accessible chemicals. Get right down at your pet’s level to view your home from her point of view, and keep in mind how high she can climb and jump.

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant