Tag Archives: pets

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.

8 Helpful Holiday Hints for the Last-Minute Mayhem

Although not everyone is in it for religious reasons, 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas, and that means the countdown is on. To help you stay safe (if not necessarily sane) during the last few days before Christmas Day, we’ve pulled together a list of eight posts you’ll find useful—but might not be thinking about because baking and wrapping is top of mind! 

1. Prepping your vehicle for road trips
If holiday travel is on your agenda and you’re headed over the river and through the woods, make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip—especially if you might encounter winter weather. 

2. Protecting your packages
Porch pirates are real: 23 million Americans have packages stolen from their front porch each year. Definitely read this post if you’re getting packages delivered and you’re considering ways to keep them safe, because you’ll get tips for thwarting the porch pirates who’d like to make your packages into their booty. Or find out if you need a service like Amazon Key or if your home security system will protect your packages for you. 

3. Getting teens to town safely
If you have college students who are homebound for the holidays by car, go over the safety advice in this post to ensure safe travels. If they are traveling by plane or train, see this post for excellent advice to share with them. 

4. Making sure Fido will be fine
If you’re traveling and your pets will need looking after, follow the advice here on finding a good pet sitter and ways to prepare your pet and your pet sitter before you leave. Read more…

5. Decorating with a safety-first mindset
This post offers holiday safety tips to use throughout your home as you’re decorating! Also see tips for keeping your Christmas tree fresh and less fire-prone. 

6. Staying safe if you’re still doing your shopping
Many of us are still shopping up until the last minute! Read the tips in this post to make sure you’re safe, whether shopping online or in person. Although the advice is specific to Thanksgiving weekend, it applies to the whole holiday shopping season. 

7. Taking safety into account when buying toys
All toys are not created equal and some pose a bigger threat than others. Before you start your toy buying, review the safety tips in this post to ensure the toys you give will be both fun and safe. 

8. Giving home security as the gift that lasts all year
If you’re stumped for gift ideas, consider home security. This post explains why it’s an excellent gift the whole year long. Read more…

Despite the decline in the religious reasons for celebrating the holiday, Christmas is still a major event for most Americans, making it a busy time of year that can lead to mistakes and missteps. Review this list of posts for reminders, and stay safe this holiday season and into the new year! 

Traveling for the Holidays? Be Prepared to Pinpoint Your Perfect Pet Provider

Halloween is over and while some may already be looking forward to tree-shaped cookies and the smell of gingerbread, the rest of us are thinking of turkey and cranberry sauce. Our winter holidays are a time of eating good food, seeing family and most of all…traveling.

Since 68% of U.S. households own a pet, chances are you may be leaving a critter back home this season when you travel. Before you run knocking on all your neighbors’ doors asking for their help looking after your favorite fur ball, check out these tips for finding the right pet sitter for you.

Before You Choose That Pet Sitter…

  • Start looking early. Finding a pet sitter is not a task you want to rush. This is someone who will be entering your home, caring for a furry member of your household, and taking on a lot of responsibility. Starting your search sooner rather than later can guarantee finding reliable care for Fluffy and Fido.
  • Check their services. See what the different options of sitters have to offer. Some pet care can include multiple visits during the day to feed, walk or play with your pet, while others can stay in your home so your pet isn’t alone. Many even offer to bring in your mail or water your plants while you’re away.
  • Ask around for referrals. Your perfect pet sitter may be just a question away. Friends, neighbors or even your veterinarian may know of some great pet services they’ve used in the past and can tell you about the not-so-great ones to avoid as well. If your pet has special dietary or behavioral needs, your vet may be the best resource for finding a pet sitter who will work for you.
  • Have a list of prepared questions. While searching, know which questions you’re going to ask potential sitters. These questions can be as simple as their hourly rate or how many visits they can do each day, but they can also be specifically tailored to you and your pet’s needs. The Humane Society has a helpful list of potential questions you can use if you’re not sure what to ask.


Preparing Your Pet Sitter…and Your Pet

  • Schedule a meet and greet. Before you leave your pet alone with your chosen sitter, introduce your furry friend to their caretaker while you’re still home. This can provide a more comfortable transition for your pet, as well as allow you to explain any special requests to the sitter while you’re face-to-face.
  • Reserve for the holidays ASAP. Many pet sitter businesses offer their services on holidays, but those days can fill up fast. Be sure to plan with your sitter well in advance if you need someone watching your pet while you’re away this holiday season.
  • Leave more than one key. Have two spare keys, one for the sitter and one for a trustworthy neighbor. If the sitter gets locked out, they have a backup, and if something happens and they can’t stop by your home, it enables your neighbor to step in and help. Also have your pet sitter and your neighbor exchange phone numbers so they both know whom to contact.
  • Show them around. Make sure to show your pet sitter your home’s safety features such as the circuit breaker or security system, in case of an emergency or just accidentally setting off the alarm.
  • Buy extra supplies. You never know what might happen while you’re traveling, especially around the winter holidays, so stock some extras that your pet may need in case you’re gone longer than expected. This could be food, medication, doggy bags, kitty litter, or even some water jugs in case of an emergency.

Wherever your travels take you this holiday season, rest assured that your furry family is safe and sound back home with a pet sitter you trust–especially if the rest of your family can’t be trusted to keep their fingers off the turkey.

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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I feel so much better knowing my family is protected! I spoke with SafeStreets USA in the evening and a technician was able to come install the system for me then for my parents first thing the next morning. Very impressed with his knowledge and care!


We had our ADT system installed by SafeStreets USA and were really impressed with the service we received from our technician. He was very friendly and answered all of our questions on the system and how it worked. He set everything up in a couple of hours and was a real pleasure to talk with []

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