5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe and Comfortable in Your Backyard
5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe and Comfortable in Your Backyard
With plenty of sunny days ahead of us, it always feels good to go outside and enjoy the nice weather. Our pets aren't much different than we are, and many prefer to be outside in a yard — enjoying the sun, rain, and wind. In fact, many pets prefer the wild outdoor weather more than their comfy climate-controlled houses. Dogs that require lots of exercise and mental stimulation show fewer signs of anxiety and boredom when they have a yard to explore. Even senior dogs that don't get the puppy-induced “zoomies” benefit from having open outdoor space.
But your backyard also brings dangers. Pests, chemicals, toxins, and other wild animals can turn that sunshine-filled day into a disaster. Here’s how you can keep your dog safe in your backyard.
Keeping Your Pet Safe
Letting your dog spend time in the backyard should be done responsibly. Here are a few factors to consider, especially when it comes to keeping your dog safe in the backyard.
1. Make a Safe Space
Doing a careful inspection of your yard can go a long way to keeping your dog happy and healthy. Here are some things to look out for when it comes to yard hazards.
- Glass, wire, and sharp objects: These things can easily cut your dog as they run and roam in the backyard. These kinds of cuts can also cause infection, resulting in costly vet bills, injury to your dog, and not to mention unnecessary pain they will experience.
- Chemicals: Dogs are curious animals, and they learn from their environment with the senses they were born with. It is not uncommon for dogs to lick hazardous chemicals such as weed killers, antifreeze, or brake fluid. Since they clean themselves by licking, they might even be exposed to chemicals on the ground by licking their paws. Again, make sure your backyard is free of these kinds of toxic chemicals.
2. Be Mindful of Living Hazards
Unfortunately, inanimate objects aren't the only things that pose a threat to your dog. Other living critters carry diseases, and some are an immediate threat to your pup. Here are a few critters to keep your eye out for:
- Fleas and ticks: Not only are fleas and ticks an uncomfortable nuisance, but they also carry a variety of diseases that can make your dog sick. Keep your dog safe! Your pet can also track these harmful insects and arachnids back into your house where they will find you. A pet-safe insect repellent/dip treatment or high quality organic dog shampoo and conditionerwill keep your pooch comfortable from bites as well as potential infections from infestations.
- Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals on the planet, and they transmit diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, and dengue fever. For dogs, however, mosquitos carry bloodworm parasites (aptly named “heartworms”) which are particularly deadly to your dog. Preventive medicine can be given to your dog to keep them from getting these parasites. Talk to your vet to see which treatment will work best for your dog. We recommend an Organic Balm to treat and soothe itching.
- Animals: Once outside, your dog is exposed to not only the elements, but also any other animals in the area. For smaller dogs, this might include hawks, owls, and other raptors. Medium-sized breeds can quickly fall victim to mountain lions and coyotes. Be sure your dogs are vaccinated against rabies — since the disease can be transmitted through bites, saliva, and even drinking water. Raccoons, skunks, and bats are common carriers of rabies and other diseases, and they are very common in suburban areas. Other dogs in the neighborhood can become a problem too, especially if they find a way into your yard.
- People: Last but not least, people pose some of the biggest dangers to your pet. Over 2 million dog thefts are reported each year. And some deranged and mentally ill individuals even poison or attack dogs. Be careful of who has access to your yard and how. Keeping an eye on your dog or even doing a preliminary sweep of the yard when you let them out will go a long way. Preventing people from entering your yard helps keep your dog safe.
3. Secure the Perimeter!
As a dog lover, you have an obligation to provide a safe space for your best four-legged friend. Here are some ways to keep your dog safe in your backyard.
- Fence: A fence is as much a way to enclose your yard and protect your family and pets as it is a way to keep your dog from roaming and getting lost. Fences are a much more humane method of keeping your pets in your yard than a chain or other physical restraint. We highly recommend wooden fences. Your pup can get its paws caught in chain link fences, which may lead to injuries.
- Secured gates: Fence gates with pull-down latches are extremely convenient. But some smarter breeds may figure out how to open the doors and escape. Slotted gates can also cause your dog to spend the majority of its time at the gate looking for intruders. While this is a natural part of their behavior, it can impede their regular exercise. We recommend solid, handle-locked gates that are secure, sturdy, and fit with the aesthetics of your fence.
- Digging spots: Dogs are natural-born diggers. You should regularly check the perimeter of your fence to see if your dog is attempting to dig under. Try to make any dig spots unattractive by placing rocks, bricks, or iron blockers in that area. We highly recommend positive-reinforcement training to help curb digging behaviors. However, some dogs just really love digging, and it may be best to install a complete “dig defense” barrier around the fence.
4. Remember the Essentials
Not only are they necessary for survival, but food, shelter, clean water, and activities are essential. They keep your dog safe, happy, and healthy
- Access: A pet door can help bridge that line between the indoors and the outdoors. Having that freedom to go into the backyard as well as their favorite spot on the couch with you allows them to feel comfortable and familiar with their environment. Consider adding stairs between your door and the ground for your pup if they’re older. It will help spare their joints and allow them to enjoy outside time without risking their health.
- Shelter: A doghouse or other pet shelter gives them protection from the sun, wind, rain, or snow without having to bring them inside. Keeping it clean will limit bugs and other vermin, and give them a place to just hang out when they aren't sniffing around the yard.
- Shade and water: Whether it is a dog house or just a shady section of yard, shade is essential in helping your dog regulate their body temperature. You should also give your pet access to plenty of clean, cool water to help them stay hydrated. Having a system with continual access to a water supply such as a hose or bottle will make it easier to make sure their water is always available.
- Food: Having access to food is also important. Organic sweet potato treats or simple protein-rich snacks are a great way to train your dog to avoid digging and chasing wild animals.
- Bedding: Perfect for dog houses as well as shady spaces, bedding is essential for your furry friend. It keeps them off the ground and gives them a comfortable place to rest. Without bedding, your dog might take matters into their own paws and dig a place to rest, which will expose them to parasites, dirt, and other things you probably don't want tracked into your house. Bedding also provides a place of comfort and familiarity. It can even keep your dogs cool on sweat-soaked days and warm on chilly winter afternoons. Remember, get a bed made for the outdoors for the yard, and keep a separate bed inside to prevent lush indoor beds from getting exposed to the elements.
- Toys: Your dog is a lot like you in that it needs mental stimulation to feel comfortable. Having toys around gives your dog something to do, and an active pup will be less inclined to dig holes, chew through fencing, or show other signs of anxiety. Bored dogs are at risk of jumping fences, tunneling, or going around the neighborhood and getting into trouble.
- Clothing: Some breeds like Chihuahuas and hairless dogs get cold easily. A comfortable cotton dog hoodie can help them rest outdoors on chilly days.
5. Keep Your Pup Company
Dogs are social creatures and require their "pack" almost as much as anything else that is essential to survival. When you are outside, spend time with your dog! This is a great way to get you both some exercise, vitamin D from the sun, and feel-good endorphins moving throughout your body. Plus, it's a lot of fun! By keeping your dog company outside, you also get to supervise what they are doing, and this will help keep them safe from a lot of the hazards mentioned above.
Whether it is summer, fall, winter, or spring, your dog will appreciate the time it gets to spend outdoors. Plus, it’s great exercise for you! Yes, there are a variety of things to “watch out for” in your backyard. But with a little attention, the right bedding, and a few familiar toys, you can happily keep your dog safe in your backyard. Remember, you may need to grab some shampoo and give your dog a quick bath (here’s how!) after outings. Keeping your dog clean helps keep your dog safe.
Are you looking for comfortable, safe outside bedding for dogs, dog treats, and dog stairs? Contact us to learn more about our luxurious and pet-friendly merchandise. Keep that pup safe. Because every Animal Matters.