Friday, September 2, 2011

Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe Outside

Irene came and went. In her wake, she left a path of destruction: downed power lines, uprooted trees, and rivers where streets once were. If your backyard was ruined, here are some things to consider when rebuidling your yard in order to keep your canine safe from certain hazards.

Fence In Your Yard
Photo of Courtesy Nash
Dogs are natural born explorers with little regard for a map or compass, relying solely on their olfactory senses and stellar hearing capabilities. They can hear and smell interesting stimuli that is outside the perimeter of your yard. Unfortunately, these senses may not always be enough to lead them back to home sweet home. Because there is nothing more upsetting than a lost dog, it is highly important your yard is fully fenced in to prevent this from happening. If your dog is a jumper or a large breed dog, make sure to install a tall fence that is sturdy, strong, and can resist the repeated pressure of your dog jumping against it. If your dog likes to dig, it is crucial to reinforce the fence in order to deter your pooch from recreating a scene out of The Great Escape and tunneling to the other side. Make sure the fence is placed deep in the ground so this scenario cannot happen. Do not place objects like garbage cans near a fence that your canine can jump on and use as a trampoline to hop over the fence. Remember, if you are an owner that leaves your dog chained to a tree in the yard, it is not the safest option if you are not there to monitor and there is no fence. The rope or chain can easily break and your dog can get loose.

Lawn Maintenance
Before applying fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides, remove any water bowls or dog toys from the yard. Wait until chemicals have completely dried up. Some sources suggest waiting up to four days before allowing your dog to go out in the yard. Consider applying the chemicals in shifts and monitor your pup when outside to ensure he or she steers clear of the infected area for the suggested time frame. Keep chemicals in its original packaging and store them in a spot your pet cannot access. According to the ASPCA Poison Control Center, cocoa mulch, if heavily ingested can have a similar effect on dogs as chocolate causing vomiting and diarrhea, so steer clear of this mulch. The most poisonous pesticides for dogs are slug and snail bait, gopher and rat poison, fly bait and systemic insecticides. For the safety of your precious pooch, it is best to invest in natural, organic, and chemical-free lawn substances to avoid this situation all together.

Photo Courtesy of tar0
Holes
The potholes that continue to plague your driveway every year after winter may make you crazy but you should also turn your attention to the divets and holes dotting your grassy yard. If your dog takes off after a squirrel or rabbit and their paw happens to land in a hole, your pooch is liable to strain a muscle or sprain an ankle. Patch up holes with topsoil and replant grass in these areas. Enlist the help of a landscaper if lawn maintenance is not your speciality.

Letting your dog out in the backyard should be an easy way for your pooch to enjoy the outdoors. If you follow these simple steps to safeguard your yard for Fido, it can be a walk in the park. 

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