With the holidays being a time when lots of families add a four-legged friend to their midst, or alternatively go out numerous parties and other events and leave animals home alone more often, it’s important to be sure your yard is safe for your loved pooch.
As a valued part of your family, your dog should be happy and well – and you should want to do everything you can to keep it that way. And, by doing this, you’ll save yourself from having to pay for expensive and unexpected visits to the vet. Read on for some top ways you can make your yard secure today, and ensure your fur baby stays safe.
Get Rid of Toxic Plants
Get rid of any plants toxic to dogs. With exposure to the wrong things, pooches can display symptoms such as sore eyes, irritated skin, seizures and more. In some unfortunate cases, death can result.
Go through your garden to see if you can spot any plants that could be an issue, and remove them or stop your dog from being able to access them. Also, when buying new plants, check to see if they could cause any dramas for your four-legged friends before you bring them home.
The list of potentially dangerous plants is long, but here are some of the most common ones:
- Aloe Vera
- Sago palm (particularly nasty, it can lead to severe liver failure)
- Lily of the Valley (it can cause cardiac arrhythmias, amongst other things)
- Sweet pea
- Crocuses (the fall crocus, Meadow Saffron, is an especially nasty one to be on the lookout for, as it can cause multisystem organ failure)
Keep Pests at Bay
Look for ways to keep pests at bay in your yard, too. For instance, keep your lawns trimmed regularly so there is less coverage for pests to hide in. Also, ward off mosquitos by removing standing pools of water. If these biting insects remain a problem even after you do this, consider using a specialist mosquito service to help you remove infestations.
Mosquito bites can give your dog diseases, just as happens with humans; plus if dogs scratch at bites on their ears or other areas, they can develop hematomas and skin conditions. As such, a safe yard must be safe from such pests.
Don’t Use or Leave Harmful Chemicals and Other Substances in Your Yard
Next, be careful about using and leaving harmful chemicals and other substances in your yard that could make your pet very ill if ingested. For example, pest sprays and fertilizers can be a problem, as can blood and bone meals. These smell great to dogs as they’re made up of dried, ground-up, flash-frozen animal bones, but if canines eat a lot they can get bad cement-like blockages in their GI tracts.
Steer clear of mole, rat, gopher or other baits around your property because if your dog eats any of these they could develop severe health issues and even die. Be wary about the mulch you use in your gardens, too. This trips a lot of pet owners up, as it doesn’t seem like an issue. However, many mulches are made from the discarded shells or hulls of cocoa beans. These contain the two toxins which are the reason behind why we can’t feed our pets chocolate treats – caffeine and theobromine.
Ensure Dogs Can’t Get Into Dangerous Areas
Another way to keep your dog happy and well is to ensure it cannot get into any dangerous areas in your yard. For example, deny furry friends access from spaces such as garden sheds containing sharp objects; pools, ponds and other deep water sources; and netting, in which they could potentially get trapped in and choke. Also, stop dogs from being able to enter neighbors’ yards as you don’t know what kinds of risky areas or items could be in there.
Keep your dog well away from compost heaps. Again, this might not seem like such an obvious risk, but these piles often contain organic materials which attract dogs because of their smell (e.g. food scraps), but which can lead to health concerns. On top of there being generally dangerous substances in your compost for dogs, note that another problem is that organic materials in compost heaps sit and mold. When this occurs, harmful mycotoxins arise. These can cause your pooch to develop tremors, seizures or vomiting attacks or fall ill in other ways. Keep any compost stored securely in a container your dog cannot dig into or tip over.
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