There is a common misconception that allowing a pet to roam freely in the backyard is perfectly safe. Sadly, this is not the case. There are a ton of dangers lurking in most backyards, which could cause harm to your pet. It’s inadvisable to leave a pet home alone for too long, as most pets soon get bored and look for interesting diversions. Ideally, you should supervise your dog when he’s playing outside, but before you open the door, carry out a risk assessment.
Check the Boundary
The first thing any responsible pet owner must do is check the perimeter of the backyard. Just because you think the fence is secure, it doesn’t mean it actually is. There may be holes hidden behind bushes and shrubs or a rotten section that wouldn’t take much of a shove or chew to open out. Look for gaps and make any repairs. If your dog is tall or can jump or climb, add an extra section to ensure he stays inside the backyard.
If your pet is the canine equivalent of Houdini, you probably ought to invest in a PetTronix GPS collar so you can locate him if he does make a great escape. It will save you driving around the neighborhood for hours, searching for a missing dog.
Watch Out for Poisonous Plants and Flowers
Flowers brighten up the back yard, but some of them, although fairly innocuous looking, are lethal to pets when ingested. Periwinkle is a great example. Its pretty blue flowers look cute, but if your dog decides to have a chew on them, he will be dead within a few hours unless you seek urgent veterinary attention. Other poisonous plants to watch out for include Begonias, Aloe Vera, Hostas, Tulips, Milkweed, and Daffodils.
Don’t assume your dog won’t try to eat any of the plants. If he’s bored or hungry, he might give it a go, and if you’re not home, you could come back to find your dog dead.
Remove Pest Control Poisons
It may be an obvious piece of advice, but don’t use pest control poisons in your back yard if your dog is allowed to roam freely. Dogs are just as apt to chow down on rat bait as rats are and it has much the same effect. Remove all toxic pest poison unless it’s well hidden beneath a shed where your dog can’t reach it.
Be careful if you use weed killer sprays too. Always keep pets and kids inside for 24-hours, or as recommended in the instructions.
Provide Shelter and Water
Make sure your dog has a bowl of fresh water in hot weather. Dogs soon dehydrate when it’s hot and sunny and they need water to help them cool down.
You should also provide some place to shelter if it rains. Better still, keep a close eye on him and let him back indoors when the weather turns nasty.
Dogs love outdoor time, but they soon get bored, so if you want to leave your dog in the back yard for a spell, give him some toys and chews to keep him occupied and out of trouble.