Tag Archives: dogs

Safe at Home: 4 Reasons to Keep Fido out of the Kitchen While Cooking

Our family recently got a new addition: an older, untrained rescue dog named Smokey. Even though he is a senior dog, he is still extremely active for his age. This means there are plenty of opportunities for our family members to get out and run with him! But it also means that he can get himself into trouble, especially in the kitchen.

Smokey has already made his way through two loaves of home-made bread, and two and a half marinating steaks. Now, food theft is one concern, but there are actually several safety reasons to keep your dog out of the kitchen while you’re cooking.

Below are four safety hazards that can be avoided when you keep your dog out of the way during meal prep:

One, Forbidden Food
Whether it’s tonight’s dinner sitting on the counter or an ingredient that dropped on the floor, you probably don’t want either to disappear into your dog’s mouth. Keeping Fido out of the kitchen helps protect any food you’re preparing as well as protects your furry friend from eating something that could be harmful to their doggy digestion. See this list of “human foods” you should avoid giving your pets.

Two, Hot Liquids
Between boiling water and hot oil, there are plenty of ways you can get burned while cooking. If it would hurt you, it would hurt your dog too—or both of you if the dog causes you to trip while carrying something hot. Then there’s the danger of a spill. Fido doesn’t have your kitchen awareness of what’s hot or not. To be safe, keeping your dog out of the kitchen and away from any potential spills would be your best bet.

Three, Sharp Objects
As careful as we try to be with sharp knives or scissors, accidents happen. Sure, you watch out for your own toes when you drop that carving knife, but in that split second you have to react, are you also paying attention to where your underfoot dog is? There’s also the potential of your furry friend trying to grab food off the counter, only to bring down a knife with half of a pot roast. And, again, the tripping hazard: Tripping over your pup while carrying a sharp knife sounds like a recipe for disaster to me!

Four, Tempting Trash
Even with a covered trash can, sometimes those smells from the garbage are just too tempting for your dog to resist. Although there’s a chance of Fido eating food that he shouldn’t if he gets into the trash, there are also other dangerous materials like aluminum foil and plastic that he could ingest. If everything smells like chicken, then in his mind wouldn’t it all taste like chicken? “Might as well eat it and see,” says doggy logic.

When you have a dog has part of your home and family, training is important to keep everyone safe: humans and hound. Yet the kitchen isn’t always a part of that training. To make sure your kitchen does become a safe haven during meal prep, find a solution that works for you and your family, such as making your pet stay on a mat or dog bed in an area of the home where they can still see you while you’re cooking. The goal isn’t to isolate them away from you, only to set boundaries for them. This way when they do get a treat during meal prep, it’s one that you choose to give them, and not an entire steak they steal from the counter.

5 Summer Safety Tips for the Four-Legged Family Members

We’ve been talking about summer safety stuff here at SafeStreetsUSA, like how home automation can help make for a more comfortable summer, safer road trips, and swimming pool safety tips. But we’ve neglected an important member of the family in all of this summer safety talk: the dogs!

Let’s remedy that right now with five summer safety tips for that four-legged friend.

Most (if not all) summer safety advice for your dogs is related to the heat of summer. So the biggest tip of all is to take the heat into consideration every day, when you’re letting the dog out, planning a trip to the store, or going for a walk. And note that although the advice below is geared toward dogs, much of it applies to your feline friends as well…

Tip 1: Water, water, water
Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water all the time. At our house, because our two of our cats tend to spend a lot of time outside, we have two water bowls during the summer: one inside the house and one outside. Our dog is rarely left outside unattended but if he does go out for a bit on his own, he can access that water too.

We’ve also started keeping a milk jug full of water in the car along with a plastic bowl so when the dog goes somewhere with us, we can easily make sure he is staying hydrated.

Tip 2: Never ever EVER leave your dog in the car
Speaking of the car, our dog is not left in the car in the summer, period. He only goes in the car if he can get out of it when we get where we’re going. Leaving your dog in the car on a hot day for even a few minutes is just too dangerous to risk it. It might feel like a pleasant 70 degree day outside, but inside the car is probably 90 degrees. And on a hot day like 85 degrees, the interior of your car can heat up to 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. Within 30 minutes, that temperature can climb to 120 degrees! (Temperature data from the ASPCA)

This is such a serious issue that many states are now making it illegal to leave a dog in a car.

Sadly, just the other day my mother was leaving the vet’s office when a young man came in holding a limp puppy. The puppy had been left in a hot car and looked lifeless. The vet told my mother it might live but–if it did–it would never be quite right in the head because of the damage done by the heat.

Tip 3: Follow the sun to ensure there’s shade
I’ve seen people leave their dogs outside in the morning with plenty of shade, not realizing that shade would disappear as the day went along. Make sure your dog has shade all day long as the sun moves across the sky.

Tip 4: Be mindful about your walks
Take the heat into account when planning for your walks. Our dog is a big dog and getting older. He seems to have a harder time with the heat these days as a result, so our walks have to take place late in the evening when the weather has cooled. This also helps us to avoid the hot asphalt that would otherwise burn the bottoms of his feet. It’s not always convenient to do it later in the day, and he doesn’t understand why he has to wait so long for that walk, but it means the heat isn’t an issue for him or his paws.

Tip 5: Make sound decisions
In my experience, a dog will often put up with discomfort to be near his or her people, so you can’t trust the dog to know whether it’s too hot and act accordingly. That means you need to make sound decisions about the dog’s exposure to heat, sun, water, exercise, asphalt, etc. to help your furry friend handle the heat in the best possible way while still being right where he or she wants to be….right by your side.

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