Is your yard pet safe?

3 pet-safety hazards to consider in your yard

Your pet is safe in your yard, isn't he? Dog and cat owners assume that the backyard is one of the safest places for family pets, but are they correct? A pet-safe backyard offers fantastic opportunities for dogs to roam unleashed, or cats to soak up the sun. Unfortunately, hidden pet risks lurk in even the best yards. What are three pet-safety hazards to identify and eliminate from your yard?

Is your yard safely enclosed? Dogs and cats are expert escape artists, and most backyard fences are not escape-proof. While it is vital to identify and secure areas where your beloved critters can flee, it is just as necessary to identify spaces where wild critters can enter. Inspect for holes, broken fencing, and for signs that wild animals have taken up residence. We frequently battle groundhogs inside one of our backyard enclosures. It is essential to the safety of our dog and cat that we quickly repair groundhog damage, such as tunnels beneath the fence, and keep up our removal efforts. Any time an animal is outdoors, he runs the risk of dangerous contact with other animals. Keep vaccines current and make sure that your pet is properly licensed and wears identification at all times.

Is your yard toxic to pets? Most of us know the dangers of lawn and garden pesticides to dogs and cats. However, common plants in your backyard, like wild mushrooms, have toxins that can sicken or even kill a curious pet. Inspect your yard frequently for new plant growth and pay attention to any pet warnings and considerations when choosing your own garden plants. Remember, too, that the garage or garden shed are fascinating places for curious snouts and are often accessible during outdoor time. Keep chemicals, plant fertilizer, and other harmful products safely secured from pet reach.

Do you have water hazards in your yard? Backyard pools pose dangers to dogs and cats year around. Aside from the obvious drowning risks, during the summer months, pool water is loaded with chemicals not intended for drinking. During the cool weather months, a covered pool can be a horrible death trap if an unsuspecting animal tried to walk across the unstable surface. It is too easy for an animal to slip beneath the cover or get caught up in straps or tie downs and drown in standing water on the cover.