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PET SAFETY MONTH: 30 tips in 30 days that can save your pet's life - Tip #29

Vacation time is coming. Pup would love to come with you. He's sitting at the front door ready to go, no matter what the adventure, yes?

Pups are great traveling companions. Just ask them. They are.

Are you going hiking and camping? Oh the joy of being off leash, or for the less trustworthy of our canines, Oh the joy of being on a long leash. It is all so wonderful, wonderful unless someone's doggie nose or doggie paw gets into trouble.

The closest we in Brooklyn come to a poisonous snake, thank you very much, is on the other side of the glass in Prospect Park Zoo. So if you are going out into the woods and especially with a curious pup, check the web for poisonous snakes in the area you will be hiking. Know that snakes don't want to bite because once their venom is spent they are defenseless but they will if they feel threatened.

Rule of thumb is that snakes hide in piles of leaves or logs or rocks. Keep curious noses out. If you hear a yipe from pup and see, generally just 3 punctures, get him to the closest vet in the area. Pronto. Local vets know local fauna and what to do.

And whether you are camping or just going to visit Aunt Matilda, before you leave, you should look up a local family vet as well as an emergency vet and put their contact information into your smartphone, just like you put your Brooklyn vets into your phone at Safety Tip #1. Do this even if Aunt Matilda has a dog herself for she may not have this information at her fingertips. And, it is perfectly possible, she doesn't know about 24-hour emergency vets in her area.

So the ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure here. If you take pup out of your home zone, know what can go wrong and where you can get it attended. It is just possible Aunt Matilda doesn't know about 24 hour emergency veterinarians and quite likely that she doesn't have their information at her fingertips, which would cost important minutes should you need one.

Be prepared. And have a great and relaxing vacation.

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