It’s no secret that pets and yards go together like, well, pets and yards. But just because they’re a natural fit doesn’t mean you can neglect either one. In fact, it’s important to make sure your yard is just as safe for your pet as it is for you. Here are a few tips on how to create a safe yard for outdoor play with pets.
1. Make sure the yard is completely fenced in
If your yard doesn’t have a fence, pet owners often use invisible fencing to enclose the area. Though known for its ability to blend seamlessly into one’s surroundings, it does require that you check that there is nothing your pet can get caught on or stuck in before entering the containment zone. To be sure, watch your pet walk through the containment zone before you turn it on and make sure there is nothing in the way.
2. Keep plants, trees, and other vegetation at a safe distance from the fence
If your pet has a tendency to eat plants and other greenery (which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or worse), it’s best to keep these items far away from the fence. If you’re not sure whether or not your pet is one of these types, it’s best to keep them away anyway. But if these plants and trees are already inside your backyard, keep them trimmed short so they don’t pose a hazard to pets. Make sure you have no poisonous plants that they can eat. For an added measure, consider professional tree care in the form of pruning or even professional tree removal.
3. Install a gate that locks at all times
If your pets are allowed to roam free in your yard while you’re not home, it’s important that they cannot leave the yard on their own. Installing a locked gate can do just that. However, if this is not possible (for instance if the only entrance is through the house), give some thought to how you will get your pet back inside when you return. Though an unlocked gate is better than no gate at all, it’s important to consider not only your pet’s safety but the safety of others.
4. Create a pleasant environment for pets in the yard
It may seem silly to think about creating a “pleasant” experience for our pets in their yards but think about it. A yard filled with dog toys, a water dish, places to sleep, and a patch of shade on a hot day is going to make your pet more likely to spend time there instead of trying to escape.
5. Use pet-friendly fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn
If your pets stay in the yard often, you’ll want to be sure that any fertilizers or pesticides you use aren’t poisonous. Visit your local home and garden retailer to find out if they carry pet-friendly products.
6. Provide a water source for pets outside
Many dogs and cats love the taste of fresh running water, so not only is it a good idea to provide them with an ample supply of water, consider installing a pet fountain. Pet fountains are designed to filter the water, keeping it fresh and clean for pets, while also recirculating the water so that more isn’t wasted.
7. Clear out any debris like rocks or sticks from the ground before it can become hazardous to animals
It may seem like a good idea to let your pets play with sticks or other natural items, but many are actually hazardous for animals. Rocks can also be dangerous if they are large enough to cause impaction and sharp enough to cut your pet’s mouth if it tries to chew on them.
8. Remove anything your pet can get tangled in, stuck in, or hurt on
If your pet likes to chew on things and there’s a possibility that it might find something like barbecues or outdoor furniture, remove them from the yard. We all know that when our pets are bored, they do some crazy things. Whether you have to get rid of the toys in your pet’s toy box or remove outdoor fixtures from your yard, it’ll be worth the effort knowing that your pet is safe.
9. Store chemicals and other harmful materials where pets cannot access them
If you have any harmful chemicals or fertilizers in your home, make sure to keep them well out of the reach of pets. You wouldn’t want your pet ingesting or inhaling these products by accident.
10. Give your yard a good once-over before allowing pets outside
This might seem like common sense, but it’s important to give your yard a good look before allowing animals outside. Make sure there are no exposed nails, animal traps, or other hazards that might cause harm.
It is important to take the necessary precautions when it comes to pets and yards, as the latter can be dangerous if not maintained well. By following these tips, you can create a safe environment for you and your pet to play in.