7 Ways to Pet-Proof Your Outdoor Spaces

The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, and like you, your pet can't wait to spend quality time outdoors. But beware of the dangers lurking right outside your house. Here are 7 ways to pet-proof summer's most popular outdoor spaces.

On the Patio
1. Charcoal briquettes, which dogs seem to love to lap up or steal from the grill, can easily get stuck in the stomach, causing vomiting and requiring surgery.

2. Barbecue scraps and fatty leftovers can give your pup pancreatitis, causing severe abdominal pain or death.

3. Corn on the cob and peach pits are also a huge no-no because they can lodge in a dog's intestines.

Beware Other Hidden Pet Poisons

In the Garden
4. Azaleas are common backyard shrubs that can be toxic for dogs and cats if ingested, resulting in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmias, or an abnormal heart rate.

5. Backyard lilies (like a daylily or Asiatic, Easter, or Stargazer lily) and their pollen can cause acute kidney failure in cats. Ingestion of as little as two to three leaves can be fatal, so remove these plants from your yard if you let your cat out.

Your Ultimate Guide to Summer Pet Safety

In the Garage

6. Rose and garden plant food containing insecticides can contain potentially fatal compounds. If your dog tries to eat a bag of it (or soil that's been treated with it), he could suffer diarrhea, profuse vomiting, shock, seizures, and even death.

7. Fireworks are a threat to curious dogs that might try to eat them. Made with chemicals like potassium nitrate, and parts (like a fuse) that could get stuck in the stomach, they can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, seizures, and shallow breathing. Keep yours out of reach, and clear your yard of debris after you set off your display.

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TELL US: What are your pet's favorite summer hangouts?

-- Justine Lee, DVM, Prevention

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