Elevators are pretty crazy, when you think about it. A small, windowless metal box held up by a series of coils, slinging us through vertical space, literally and figuratively sealing our fates with the hermetical closing of two steel doors? Why, yes, I will gladly enter such box. Stairs are for sadists and peasants.
And elevator companions – oh goodie! What spot on the wall shall I stare at while we hurtle through the sky together? Hmm, I think I shall choose the one directly ahead on the door. Oh bugger, we have chosen the same spot! How dreadfully awkward; I must be careful to look away with both casual grace and great haste, because I’m a cool confident elevator-rider and you’re the awkward one.
Perhaps I have overly dramatized this reality. Believe it or not, our innate human awkwardness is not the worst thing we have to face in an elevator. Especially if we have a dog, we have to be extremely careful. That’s right, this post is now becoming… serious.
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Every couple of months we see an elevator, escalator, or general people-mover related pet injury here at our hospital. Dogs that run into the elevator and the doors close on the leash. Dogs that run out of an elevator and the doors close on the leash. Dogs that have doors close on them. Dogs injured by rotating doors. Leashes caught in any number of moving pieces. These are all terrifying scenarios that take not only a physical toll on pets but a serious psychological toll on owners. So what can we do?
Keep your pet close by you when you are entering or exiting an elevator. This is important! No matter how much of a rush you are in, keep your eyes on the prize – the prize being your pet. Julianne Hough’s InstaStory can wait one more minute (ugh it’s so good I knoooow.)
Avoid going through rotating doors with your pet. Its easy for the leash to get stuck.
Familiarize yourself with how to quickly detach your pets leash. (!!! Extra emphasis on this one.) Is the clip easily accessible? Are there too many accessories around her neck to make it harder to access? Being comfortable with detaching the leash and getting high-quality equipment can save the day.
If you have a small dog, just carry her! This makes life easier.
If you have a large dog – don’t underestimate the power of gravity and steel. 100lb+ dogs can be lifted from the ground by a snagged leash.
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The purpose of this post isn’t to scare you unnecessarily. This is simply the reality of our time and our location in busy NYC. If we can encourage constant diligence and caution, then we can keep you and your pet healthy and safe.
written by Lauren Gamiel, Veterinary Assistant