October is National Animal Safety and Prevention Month; a month dedicated to promoting the safe practices of handling and caring for both domestic and wild animals. Animals play an important part in our everyday lives, even if you don't personally have pets. So it's vital to make sure that they are treated kindly and with the respect and care they deserve. Here are some tips form the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office K9’s: Be proactive. Keep all animals up to date on immunizations. Farmers, ranchers and pet owners, and hobbyists all follow the vaccination schedule set forth by their veterinarian.

Pet-proof your home and property. Remove or secure choking hazards and toxic chemicals. Make your home pet-friendly and safe.

Identify your animals. Place tags securely on collars and even label collars with your contact information. If you have more uncommon pets, take pictures in the event they get loose.

In a disaster, have a plan. Who will be responsible for locating each animal in the house? How will you transport them? Do you have a supply of food and water?

Learn basic first aid. Caring for your animal at home will prevent a minor injury from becoming severe. Always call your veterinarian if you are unsure.

Know your animal. If your animal’s behavior changes, watch for signs of illness. Is he injured or spent too much time in the heat? Contact your veterinarian before giving human over the counter medications.