This article is contributed by guest writer Dakota Murphey (Freelance Writer).
Six Potential Outdoor Hazards That Threaten the Safety of Your Pets
A yard should be a great place for your pet to roam free, exploring the outside without fear. But yes, while the yard can be a wonderful place for pets to play and enjoy time with or without you, there can also be potential hazards that you need to be aware of at all times.
In this article, we take a look at six potential pet hazards that can either endanger your dog’s safety or unwittingly give them a means to escape and an opportunity to get lost.
1. Bad Boundaries
It is probably the case that you want to keep your pet within your yard at all times when they are outside. Doing so means ensuring that you have boundaries in place, such as fencing, walls or gates. If you aren’t careful about securing these boundaries, they can become more of a hazard and even compromise your pet’s security from theft or loss.
Pets are naturally curious and, if they find a gap, are able to dig a hole under a damaged area or can infiltrate a sag in a fence, they may well try to find a way to get past it and escape. Another problem here is that they can become trapped or snagged by the fence, and this is only made worse if they panic and try to wrench themselves out of the situation. You should regularly check all of your fencing and boundaries.
2. Pet Tags and Technology
Having proper identity tags with a name and mobile number will reassure pet owners that your dog can be identified if found wandering around the neighborhood and easily be reunited with you. ID Tags, GPS Locators and microchips are valuable ways to keep track of your pet and register them officially in case they get lost.
The growing popularity to install modern GPS Locator trackers on pets and the propensity to share personal details when registering dogs can invite unscrupulous people to access your pets and your private data. Your pet can most certainly present a potential security threat to you and your family. And no, we’re not just talking about the popularity for owners to use their pet’s name for their password (although you really should avoid it!).
We are talking about the problem of pet technology as many dog owners have taken to using trackers so that they know where their beloved pet is at all times. An internet-enabled pet tracker is considered an ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) device. IoT devices are considered by cybersecurity specialists Redscan to be a potential ‘critical vulnerability’ to your cybersecurity, as they don’t have the same robust security standards as computers and mobile devices. Unfortunately, while such devices are designed to help owners feel more secure about their pet’s safety, they can cause more issues.
3. Lack of Fun Things To Do
Some owners assume it is fine to simply let their pet out in the yard to roam and explore unsupervised. This gives you a break from them and also always allows them to explore their curiosity. And yes, pets can have a lot of fun in the garden when left to their own devices. However, if there is nothing much for them to do, they may eventually get bored, and this can lead to trouble!
A bored pet will find different ways to entertain themselves by digging or looking for ways to get past the boundaries. To avoid this problem you can easily put some toys in place, or things for them to do – there are plenty of ways to make a garden more fun for a pet.
4. Swimming Pools, Ponds and Water Features
If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool, deep pond or water feature in your yard, it might be worth taking some time to consider the potential hazards for pets. Many dogs love to jump into pools of water to cool off and paddle around – however, not all pools, ponds and water features are suitable for pets, and in some cases they can potentially be dangerous.
Although the majority of chlorinated pools have a low level of the chemical, and are generally safe, larger quantities can be harmful to pets. There has been a growing trend toward natural pools – these are chemical-free swimming pools that blend into their natural surroundings. While rustic and charming, it is easy to see why they have caught on, but they are not ideal from the perspective of pet safety. For example, the need for them to blend in with the rest of the garden might make homeowners less inclined to use safety features such as fencing and guard rails. If smaller pets are able to fall into the pool it may be very difficult for them to get out.
In some cases, stagnant containers of rainwater and pond water can become unhealthy for dogs and other pets to play in or drink from, especially during the warmer months of the year. It is worth knowing the hazards, and checking on water quality for signs of toxic algae or other warning signs.
5. Problematic Plants
If you’re new to pet ownership and you have always enjoyed simply having whatever plants and flowers in your garden as you like, you may need to do some further research. It is, unfortunately, the case that there are many commonplace plants, shrubs and flowers that are actually toxic to pets such as cats and dogs.
Popular plants like lilies, rhododendrons and chrysanthemums and other toxic flowers are just a range of things in your garden that make pets such as dogs and cats seriously ill. It is best to make an inventory of the plants in your garden and check them for toxicity to pets.
6. Garden Tools
If you do a lot of gardening, you need to make sure that you safely store all of your garden tools to avoid them catching the interest of your pet. Sharp shears and other tools can present a serious hazard to pets if they are just left lying around.
Likewise, smaller tools, old fence nails and planting aids, such as netting or sharp cutters can also be hazardous if they are left unattended or are neglected. Pets do like to chew or sadly swallow the most unlikely of objects!