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If you suspect your pet has consumed your medication -- or anything toxic -- call the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Also be sure to immediately check with your vet, and if it is during evening or weekend hours when your regular veterinary clinic may be closed, check for a local 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic and take your pet there for an examination. Many metropolitan areas have these clinics.

10. Proper Restraint in a Vehicle

You buckle up for safety when you're in the car, shouldn't your pet? Unrestrained pets in a car are a distraction to the driver, and can put driver and pet at risk for serious injury, "or worse," says veterinarian Douglas. To keep pets safe in transit:

  • Never allow pets to travel in the front seat, where they're at risk of severe injury or death if the airbag deploys.
  • Don't let dogs ride with their head out the window or untethered in the back of a truck bed. Both practices put them at risk of being thrown from the vehicle in the event of an accident.
  • To keep pets safe, confine cats to carriers, suggests Douglas, then secure the carrier with a seatbelt. For dogs, there's the option of a special harness attached to a seat belt, or a well-secured kennel.