Outdoor Dangers: From Anti-Freeze to Wild Animals
Filed in Dogs, Safety
Taking your dog from home into the outside world can sometimes be dangerous for your pet. Moving vehicles, stray dogs, and various chemical agents can pose a serious threat to your pet. Without taking proper precautions, even your own backyard can be just as dangerous of an environment.
There are numerous household items that can be extremely harmful to your dog. For example, one of the leading killers of dogs is probably something you don't even think twice about: anti-freeze.
Anti-freeze is a very sweet smelling and tasting product which dogs are immediately drawn to. Dogs have no way of knowing that this sweet tasting fluid is lethal, so dog owners must be responsible for keeping anti-freeze in a safe, inaccessible place. If your dog should happen to ingest anti-freeze (even a single drop) or any other harmful household chemical you should consult either your vet or poison control immediately.
Another backyard item that is potentially harmful to your dog is poisonous plants. However, most poisonous plants are actually houseplants, specifically holiday plants (i.e. poinsettias). So if you get a new puppy for Christmas, be aware of this hazard. There are too many potentially harmful plants to list here, but if you contact your local SPCA, they will be happy to provide you with the proper information.
Another backyard danger that poses a threat to dogs is swimming pools. The problem isn't that dogs can't swim, rather dogs often don't know how to get out of the pool. Puppies are particularly at risk.
After all, you can't tell a dog to "get out of the pool by climbing the ladder in the deep end" or "use the steps in the shallow end." The best way to prevent your dog from drowning in a swimming pool -- aside from making it totally inaccessible to dogs -- is to make sure that he knows how to get out of the pool and always supervise him while he's using the pool.
Wild animals can also pose a serious threat to your dog. As humans continue to develop, we are gradually pushing coyotes out of their natural habitat, which has led to an increase in dogs being attacked.
Skunks are also a threat to your dog. Not only is there the chance of your dog getting sprayed, but skunks can be nasty creatures that can do a lot of harm with their claws and teeth as well.
For owners of smaller dogs, owls are also a considerable hazard. The best way to combat this problem is to be aware of your environment. If you live in an area that is known for being populated by coyotes, it probably isn't the best idea to leave your dog out at night.
As you can see, the backyard can be a dangerous place. However, by being aware of the hazards mentioned above and by using common sense, you can ensure that your backyard is a safe, hospitable environment for your dog.