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Pet Proofing Your Back Yard
Pet-proofing: Make the backyard a safe, fun space for your dog
Photo via Pixabay by Nata-Ap
For many pet owners, a dog or cat can be an important part of the family, and as such it’s important to make sure the home and yard spaces are safe for them to run and play. If you have a small outdoor space, this may not be an issue, but for some, making sure there are no potential hazards is a big job. There’s a lot to think about, especially if you live near a body of water or have a pool, or if your dog is prone to wandering once he spies a chance to get loose.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can ensure your dog is safe and happy when he spends time in your yard, from fencing in his outdoor space to removing harmful plants or objects. The first step is to walk around and look at it from a dog’s point of view: Are there plants that might be poisonous? Is your fencing secure? Are there holes in the ground that might lead to an injured leg? Take a good look and make a list of anything that needs to be fixed, then work out a plan for getting them done. For big jobs, like fencing, you may need to hire a contractor, so think about a budget and do some research on pricing.
Look for harmful ingestibles
What looks pretty to you may be dangerous if your pet ingests it, such as certain flowers and plants, snails or bugs, and grass that has been treated with chemicals. Do some research on the types of plants that are harmful to dogs. Make sure that you don’t have dangering plants included in your landscaping. As for snails, these can be harmful if your dog ingests them as they can cause lungworm. If you see these slimy creatures around your yard, take steps to remove them as soon as possible. Use only natural pesticides, such as soap or vinegar to keep bugs away. Be careful about treating your lawn with chemicals, as these can be picked up on your dog’s feet and licked away later.
Check your fencing
If your yard has fencing and your home is older than five or 10 years, you should consider checking the fencing to make sure it’s still in good shape. Look for missing slats, broken boards, and loose nails. You may be able to make small repairs yourself, but bigger jobs will probably require a pro.
Create safe storage
It’s always a good idea to have safe storage spaces for yard tools, pool chemicals and winter items such as antifreeze and driveway salt. Install cabinets or shelves in your garage or consider investing in a portable shed that can be locked up and kept in your back or side yard. Making sure these potentially dangerous items are out of your pet’s reach is important, especially for curious puppies.
Pet-proof your garden
It can be beneficial to both your pet and your garden to find ways to keep him out of it. Chicken wire, short stakes that can be driven into dirt beds and shallow holes filled with sand for your dog to play in can all help keep your garden untouched.
As a pet owner, you want the very best for your dog. You might need to do a bit of homework to find the best ways to keep your pooch safe around your home, but it will be worth it in the end. Communicate with your family so that everyone is on the same page where your pet’s safety is concerned.
Written by Cindy Aldridge