Tip of the Month

6/14/2011 Dangers in the Back yard

In dog training you learn about the dangers your dog might face when on a walk. It is important to know how to hold onto your leash properly, approach corners cautiously and always keep an eye out for other dogs. Over time, keeping our four-legged friends safe outside of our home becomes instinctual. Once the walk is over, and we return home to let them run freely in the back yard, a common assumption is that there is nothing to worry about, and that the back yard poses no danger to our pets. However, can you honestly say that your back yard is safe? There are certain maintenance obligations and safety precautions that you must follow before you can allow your pooch to run free behind the house.

• Yard Management – Before letting your dog into the back yard make sure you go through every corner to check that it is secure. In dog training key aspects are covered about why your dog might escape from the back yard. We must take precautionary steps in order to avoid this. First thing to do is going through and make sure there are no gaps in the fencing of the perimeter of the backyard. Depending on the breed of dog, you might want to dig at least 6 inches below the fencing and install a wire mesh under it to prevent tunneling. Padlocks are always the best choice for gates as latches can be loosened by the wind or a strong dog.

• Toy Breeds– Due to the fact that they are less costly, easier to maintain, and are the best choice for kids and the elderly the toy breed popularity has soared. However allowing them to run unsupervised in the backyard is a very dangerous habit, especially if you live in rural areas. One of the quickest predators that are often overlooked is birds of prey. So if you have noticed eagles, hawks, or owls in your area, never leave your dog unattended or allow him to get too far away from you. Other predators that might get into your backyard include but aren’t limited to Bob cats, Cougars, Raccoons, and snakes.

• Toxins–In dog training, one of the most important things that there is to teach a dog is the leave it cue. When setting up a safe backyard for your four legged friend, you have to be able to stop them from getting into trouble with plants or other animals that could be dangerous. You will need to be as proactive as possible and keep an eye out for certain plants and animals to manage the environment. There are a variety of toxins created by animals such as spiders, insects, and toads. Other materials that could potentially poison your dog are fertilizers, certain algae, pesticides, plants, and pool cleaners. Certain plants like grape vines, azaleas, castor beans, sago palms, kalanchoe, and traps that contain metaldehyde also pose a threat. These are just a few items to be wary of.

• Climate- Hot summers can cause your dog to suffer heatstroke. There are particular breeds that are especially vulnerable to heatstroke, so make sure that you are aware of your dog’s heat tolerance. To avoid this, you should have a nice shady area in the yard for your dog to rest beneath when the temperature rises. A good way to provide this is to plant trees, build a dog house, or consider investing in a covered porch. Always keep fresh cool water available for your four legged friend, and make sure you secure it so that it cannot be easily knocked over. Not all breeds are able to tolerate being left outside during the cold either. This is true for more of the companion dogs, and or dogs with short coats that are bred to live in warmer climates. In this case, a dog house that contains blankets or a dog bed is recommended to keep your pet warm.

Whether you are on a walk or in your back yard, you must make every attempt to stay proactive in keeping your friend safe, healthy and happy. Prevention is the key, so always stay cautious and manage your pet’s environment.

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