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Hidden Backyard Dangers That Pose a Risk to Your Dog’s Health

June 28, 2016

Hidden Backyard Dangers to Dogs | Golden Meadows KennelsAlthough your dog loves curling up next to you indoors, you can bet that one of their favorite areas of your home is your backyard. While they romp and play, however, their health could be at risk due to hidden dangers that you may not notice right away. As you prepare your outdoor space for your pet, keep in mind these potential risks to your pet’s health so that you can eliminate them right away.

Extreme Weather

No, you may not be able to control the weather, but you can take precautions to make sure your pet does not fall prey to seasonal injuries or illnesses. Prevent heat stroke by making sure your pet has plenty of shade and water during hot days, and it may be necessary to limit their time outside during the hottest part of the summer. Frigid temperatures can also be dangerous. Give dogs with short coats an extra layer of warmth by dressing them in a sweater, and protect delicate paw pads from snow with booties.


In suburban neighborhoods, it may seem strange to worry about predators that could harm your dog. However, birds of prey tend to fly over every type of neighborhood. Small dogs should never be left unattended in areas where owls, hawks or eagles have been spotted. In rural areas, use fencing and supervision to protect even large breeds from predators such as raccoons and bob cats. Finally, always keep an eye out for snakes since a curious pooch is more likely to experience a bite.

Poisonous Plants & Toxic Substances

Those grape vines lining your fence may look pretty, but they are poisonous to your dog. Before you put your puppy in the backyard, take a good look around to identify any potentially poisonous plants and substances so they can be removed. If you are unsure, consult with a dog breed professional who can easily tell you which plants are unsafe. It is also important to avoid leaving toxic substances in reach of your dog. Pool chemicals, lawn fertilizer and pesticides can all be deadly if they are ingested. Store these items in the shed or garage, and never let your pet outdoors alone if they have recently been applied to your yard.

Escape Routes

Dog lovers are often surprised by how quickly a smart canine can find their way out of the fence. Getting hit by a vehicle is one major danger dogs face when they escape, and they also face others such as being exposed to extreme weather, dehydration and being taken in by well-meaning people who may think it is a stray. Make walking the fence line a daily routine. It only takes a few seconds, yet it could save your pet’s life. If your dog tends to dig, place wire mesh six inches below the fence line, and always shore up any holes in the fence that occur over time. Dogs can make themselves surprisingly small, so never assume that they cannot fit through a hole.

Your home’s backyard is the perfect place for your dog to burn off their energy and explore a natural environment. However, you should always consider this to be an extension of their living environment that still requires the same attention to safety that you give the interior of your house. By spending a few minutes identifying and eliminating potential dangers, you can enjoy letting your dog play outdoors while knowing they are fully protected from harm.

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