So you’ve dog-proofed your home. You’ve put away food and edible decorations, made sure your low windows are secured, and made sure the trash can is tightly sealed. You’re all set to let your dog roam safely.
Not so fast. Don’t forget about your backyard. A lot of people have the tendency to let their dogs roam the backyard at will, without first making sure it’s safe.
Go through these 8 steps to make sure your backyard is dog-proof, and then you don’t have to worry about letting your dog come & go through the back door.
1.) Avoid Toxic Flowers
First and foremost, take a look at the plants you’ve got growing back there. We all know that dogs have a tendency to eat—well, just about anything at times.
So make sure none of your flowers are toxic to dogs.
Here are the major flowers that are a no-no for anyone with a dog:
- Autumn crocus
- Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
- Sago Palm
2.) Keep Garbage Out of Reach
You already know that it’s important to keep your indoor trash can secured from the dog. But don’t forget any trash cans outside! Few things are more embarrassing than having a friend or neighbor walk by your house and seeing trash strewn all over the yard.
In most cases, the easiest way to do this is to simply store your garbage cans somewhere your dog can’t get to. (Like in the garage.) If that’s not an option, then make sure your garbage cans have a lid that seals tightly.
Finally, any dangerous liquids—such as cleaning supplies, fuel, or antifreeze—are especially important to keep out of reach. Best to store them up high where your dog can’t reach.
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435
3.) Put a Fence Around Your Swimming Pool
Even if your dog seems like a strong swimmer, you never want to risk letting them drown in the pool. Put a fence around the pool, and only let the dog swim under supervision.
4.) Double-Check Your Fence
When you let your dog out into the backyard, you want to feel secure in knowing that they’re still going to be there when you call for them
Trust me, you never want to look outside and feel a sinking feeling in your gut when you realize your dog has escaped and is on the loose.
First and foremost, make sure your fence is high enough that your dog can’t jump over it. When you’re satisfied that your fence isn’t too short, double-check it for any “weak spots.” Are there holes or places where your dog could squeeze through a gap or underneath the fence? If so, fix those areas up to make sure your dog stays at home, where they belong.
If your dog is digging underneath your fence, you may want to install a “Dig Defence”. It acts as an underground fence and is installed beneath your existing fence.
5.) Mow the Lawn
Keeping up with your landscaping will do more than impress the neighbors—it will also make your yard a more enjoyable place for your dog to play. And remember: ticks can use tall grass to reach your dog, so if you keep your lawn trimmed, you’ll also be helping to minimize your dog’s exposure to ticks.
6.) Keep Decks & Sheds Clean
I know, I know—you’ve been intending to clean up that pile of boxes in the shed for years. Well, now that you have a dog, the time has finally come.
The important thing to realize here is that some parasites like fleas tend to live in dark, humid areas…which could include sheds and dog houses.
So make sure to clean these areas regularly. Your dog’s skin & coat will thank you.
7.) Steer Clear of Pesticides, Insecticides, and Fertilizer
I know that lawn chemicals can do wonders against bugs, just remember that they’re basically poison. So if you have your lawn treated with any pesticides or insecticides, don’t let your dog out into the lawn for a few days.
And if you’re storing pesticides of your own, make sure to store them in a safe place—preferably up on a shelf in a shed or garage, where your dog can’t reach.
8.) Make Sure They Have Water & Shade
One of the most common backyard dangers for dogs is also one of the most innocuous: dehydration.
Dogs will run around until they’re exhausted, and if the sun’s beating down and they don’t have any water, they can easily get dehydrated and even suffer from heat sickness. So give your dog some kind of shade and a big bowl of fresh water.
The ideal solution here is to allow your dog to come back inside when they’re tired, where they can rest and cool down out of the heat.
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