Most dogs spend a part of each day outdoors. For some, it’s multiple times of the day, actually. And, unless you have special plumbing for your pup, it’s inevitable. However, they should also get some exercise each day and burn some energy up as well. Unfortunately, the outdoors presents plenty of dangers lurking in the shadows, waiting for your dog. Or, at least that is how it seems in our household at least.
So, I am going to share some areas of concern that you might not think of, or they are so basic that it becomes an “out of sight/out of mind” condition. Read on to learn more about how you can protect your dog from the hazards…those that are obvious, and those that are not.
Leashing Your Dog
Dog owners owe to their pet the opportunity to get enough exercise each day. If you don’t have a pen out back, one large enough to run in, then you should be taking them for a walk each day, if not a couple times a day.
However, you can’t just simply walk outside with the dog and expect them to stay by your side as you walk down the sidewalk. In fact, many areas have leash laws that require you to have your dog on a leash at all times when they are outside.
It’s not only for their protection, but your sanity as well. When your dog is leashed you will have far more control over them than you would if they were walking freely, especially if they see another animal or person approaching.
If you have a large dog that is difficult to handle, try a harness leash (also known as a leader leash). This is a leash that is worn over the dog’s chest area and gives you far more control than a traditional leash. Just by glancing at them, it doesn’t seem like it would work all that great. But, they do.
Dogs are pack animals. What this means is that they are very social creatures and love to be with others…in a pack. In other words, if another dog comes around, or they can smell another dog in the neighborhood, there is a high probability they will run off.
They don’t mean to abandon you, and probably have every intention of coming back…if they can remember how to get home, that is. However, good intentions don’t always play out well. Running out into a road could be deadly, as could be encountering an aggressive dog down the road.
It’s best to have some form of containment system in your yard, especially if you are not going to be out there with them at all times. You could go with a traditional fence. But, they are often costly and time-consuming to put up, as well as they tend to block views. Also, you need to make sure that the gate is always closed, that your dog will not dig their way out underneath the fence, and your homeowner’s association allow them.
Another option would be to go with a petsafe wireless fence or underground system. Wireless is typically more expensive to purchase, but easier to install. You just need to make sure that the signal from the collar to the main site is clear and not blocked by trees or other objects.
Underground fencing is less expensive to purchase but might require professional installation. If you are handy, or know someone who is, that could help keep the cost down. But, it still will require an investment of time.
The Poisons among Us
There are probably more poisons lurking in your backyard than most people think about. Take a look at the following list to get an idea:
- Morning Glories, Lily of the Valley, and Daffodils
- Oak Buds and Acorns
- Oils, Gasoline, and Antifreeze
- Fertilizers and Pesticides
There are more things to be concerned with than just what is on the above list. I recommend that you do a search on the Internet, especially one that is based on your specific location.
Shelter from the Elements
If your dog is going to be outdoors for long durations, then you really should provide a shelter, such as a dog house, so they will have ability to get in from the heat, cold, or wet climate. For example, if you leave your dog outside while you go to the store or the office, allow them the possibility of some warmth or shade.
My personal rule is that if I don’t want to be exposed to the current weather conditions, then I am not going to force my dog to be either.
Objects and Amenities
Perhaps your backyard is filled with amenities because you love to spend time outdoors as well. It certainly makes for a more pleasant evening out when you have a nice fire pit. But, it’s something that you should keep your dog away from. Train them to avoid the fire pit, whether or not there is a live fire at the time.
Another item would be a hot tub or pool. Most dogs know how to swim, or can by instinct. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t drown, just like we can even if we know how to swim. Grills, flower beds and gardens are also areas to keep your dog out of, especially if you use fertilizer.
Having a 4-legged family member brings many joys to the family. However, they need almost as much care and attention than any other member…sometimes more. And, protecting them from the outdoor hazards that loom in wait is vital to providing a safe and loving home for them.
Benjamin Baker admits to being addicted to his career, which consists of freelance writing and research. He often finds new ideas for projects within his research. In fact, just when visiting the site www.doggyfence.com, he found new subjects to write on, including training a pet and keeping them safe. When Benjamin is not working he enjoys spending time outdoors with camping, fishing, and playing his guitar around the campfire. He and his wife are parents to 3 busy teens and live in Denver, Colorado.