How to Pet-Proof Your Backyard for Cats or Dogs
Making your home safe for your pets doesn’t stop at your back door. If you have a backyard and you want your pets to enjoy it, then you need to make sure it’s as safe an environment as possible because there are several ways a dog or cat can inadvertently get injured out there.
Here are nine simple tips that will help make your backyard a safer and more enjoyable space for you and your pets.
#1: Install a Fence or Inspect the Existing Fence
If your home has a fence bordering its backyard, you should carefully inspect it to look for any weak spots or areas where your pet could possibly squeeze out. If your property doesn’t have an existing fence, then you should have one installed before you let your pet outside without a leash on. Make sure the fence completely encapsulates your backyard.
#2: Plant Only Pet-Friendly Plants
A flower garden adds a splash of color and fragrance to any backyard. But, be careful about which flowers you plant because some can be especially toxic to dogs. Some such plants include azaleas, tulips, daffodils, and amaryllis. You should talk to your vet to learn about any other flowers that could possibly be risks for your pet.
#3: Keep the Lawn Short
If you live in a “hot zone” for ticks and fleas, then you’ll want to mow your lawn on a regular basis because the higher the grass is, the easier it is for ticks and fleas to get on your pet.
#4: Fence in Your In-Ground Swimming Pool
If your backyard has an in-ground swimming pool, then you will want to have a fence installed around it to prevent your dog from falling in. This is important to do even if you believe your dog to be a strong swimmer. You should also start training your dog at an early age how to enter and exit the pool area; she’ll be safer for it.
#5: Keep Trash Cans Secured
Dogs love nothing more than rooting through the trash. But unfortunately, there can be all manner of dangerous things in there, from sharp can lids to toxic liquids. Therefore, before you pet steps outside, make sure your trash cans are well-secured.
#6: Keep Garage Items in the Garage
The garage is filled with materials that can be harmful to your pet. Things like antifreeze, cleaning supplies, and fuels are especially toxic. Other items such as bug spray, rat bait, and herbicides can also pose a danger. So, always return any garage-kept items to the garage and if you spilled antifreeze or fuel on your patio, hose it off before letting your pet outside.
#7: Provide Shade and Water
Your pet will love being outside, but regardless of how hot it is, make sure you always provide a shady spot with fresh clean water where your pet can stop, drink, and catch her breath.
#8: Keep Your Yard, Deck, Shed, and Other Structures Clean
Debris in the yard and dark, humid spaces like under the deck and the shady side of your shed are popular places for fleas to congregate. As a result, you need to keep these locations as clean as possible at all times. Sweep off your deck regularly and keep the weeds and debris from piling up near them. This will help keep the flea risk down.
#9: Keep Your Pet Away From Treated Parts of the Lawn
If you recently treated your lawn with insecticides, don’t let your pet venture into areas that have been treated. Insecticides, fertilizers, and pesticides can be toxic to pets, but there are alternative options available, such as diatomaceous earth. There are also plenty of organic flea and tick control products on the market. Of course, you can always bring a few chickens in to roost in your yard; they gobble up insects by the thousands on a daily basis.
Follow the above nine tips and your backyard will soon be an outdoor oasis for you and your pet. Remember – a safe backyard is one important step that will help ensure that your pet remains healthy and free of injury.
Author: Giano Panzarella