Is your backyard and garden pet friendly? If you own a pet, it is a good idea to take a walk around your outdoor areas to look for any hazards that could have a detrimental effect on the health and well being of the animal.
Hazards come in many shapes and sizes. Some such as a small hole in the fence that could allow the dog to slip away are obvious. Others such as plants that are poisonous to animals are not so obvious. That’s why pet owners need to do their homework before allowing pets to roam around the backyard unattended.
Making your yard and garden pet friendly is not a big deal. Simply start by examining the outdoor areas.
If you plan to leave your pet outdoors unattended, you need to have a fence that is sound and secure. Look for gaps, broken boards and holes. If there is a gate, check it to insure that it closes securely and cannot be opened by an inquisitive pet.
Pay close attention to the bottom of fences. Dogs can surprise you with their ability to escape, so look closely to determine if your pet could get away by digging his or her way out.
A fence should be high enough that your dog cannot jump over it. A large, athletic dog can jump very high. It could take a six-foot high fence to contain the dog. Make certain that no items are placed close to the fence because a pet could use them to climb or jump over the fence.
If you are someone who leaves the dog in the backyard for hours on end, consider erecting a doghouse that will provide protection from the elements. Make sure the doghouse is big enough to accommodate the dog.
If your yard contains a swimming pool, make sure there is a fence around that pool that will keep pets out. The situation can become dire quickly if they fall or jump into the water and cannot find the steps to get back out.
Another problem with pools is that pets may tend to drink the water and this is not good because the chlorine-treated water can make them sick.
It is a good idea to keep a large bowl of fresh water available outdoors for your pet. This can help keep your pet cool on hot days and minimize the likelihood of dehydration.
If you have pets, do not store chemicals such as antifreeze, mice and rat poisons, pesticides, insecticides or herbicides in the backyard. These items should be securely stored in an area that children and pets cannot access.
Outdoor grilling supplies such as lighter fluid and treated self-starting charcoal should be stored securely away from pets.
Consider keeping a variety of toys outdoors for your pet to play with. A pet is less likely to get into trouble if it is kept busy.
Pets that are allowed to utilize the yard should wear identification tags that can be used to help them be returned home should they escape.
Plants, whether in the yard or garden, are a potential source of grave danger to animals. Dogs and cats love to chew on plants, so make sure they cannot come into contact with poisonous species.
It is your job to familiarize yourself with the existing plants and educate yourself on any varieties you might be considering for the yard or garden. Visit
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/ for a list of plants that are toxic to pets.
Do not use cocoa bean mulch in flower or garden beds. Cocoa bean mulch is toxic to dogs.
If you have a dog, it is important to clean up the feces on a regular basis. Many parasites and diseases are spread through contact with infected feces.
The best and most important thing you can do is to monitor your pet when he or she is outdoors.