Our backyards are an oasis, especially in a time when many of us are self-isolating in our homes. Families – pets included – can play in the grass, relax on the patio and enjoy the fresh air.
But did you know there could be danger lurking for your pets?
The last thing you need while social distancing is to make an emergency trip to the veterinary office. With the spring weather getting warmer, now is the perfect time to be aware of these top 8 hazards:
Fences are meant to keep your pets in, but sometimes they don’t work as expected. Take a break from your Zoom calls to walk around your property. Look for gaps in fencing such as bowed boards to prevent escape by tunneling. If your pup has gotten larger, be sure the fence is high enough. Look for broken latches as well as areas of your fence that could harm your pet including bent wires or exposed nails.
Bugs! Ew! Spending time outside increases the chances that fleas or ticks may hitch a ride on your pet. Be sure to keep up with their flea and tick prevention medications.
Speaking of bugs … using pesticides helps clear those unwanted creepy crawlies as well as weeds from your lawn; however, they can be toxic to cats and dogs. Remember, your pets lick themselves and clean their paws. If they ingest the pesticide, it could harm them. There are few pesticide options that are 100% safe for your furry friends, so you should protect them by not allowing them outside for at least 48 hours after you treat your lawn. Also! Don’t leave those bottles around where your pet can get into them.
Did you know that cocoa mulch contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs? It’s the same ingredient as in chocolate. Other types of mulch also pose choking and intestinal hazards. If your dog is a big chewer, it’s probably a good idea to just skip the mulch altogether. You can also try using shredded pine, buckwheat hulls or hay as mulching material in your flower beds.
They look and smell lovely… so lovely your dog may be tempted to take a bite! Many flower varieties can be toxic or cause stomach upset in your pets including the popular lilies, tulips, daffodils, hydrangeas, azaleas and oleander. If you want to plant these, make sure your pets can’t get into them. Signs of ingesting a toxic plant can include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and mood changes. Give us a call if you have concerns about your pet and plants.
Owls, rats and racoons, oh my! The wildlife scampering through our yards could pose a threat if they cross paths with our pets. In some rural areas, foxes and mountain lions may be a concern as well. Some wildlife can carry disease or wound your pet in an attack.
Follow these tips, so you don’t attract wild animals:
- Never leave dog or cat food outside
- Seal your garbage cans
- Don’t put enticing food in compost
- Lock your doggie doors
The heat of summer will surely be here before we know it. Be sure not to keep your pet outside for too long when it’s hot outside. Pets can suffer heat stroke and hydration. Give them water and shade when they’re playing outside. Your dog might also enjoy a small kiddie pool to splash around in to keep cool.
But don’t dogs and sticks go together like peanut butter and jelly? Unfortunately, dogs can swallow parts of chewed up sticks. The wood can splinter and cause internal injuries on the way down. Dangerous fungus can also grow on rotting wooding, so if you live in the country try to keep an eye on the wood your dog’s chewing.