Protecting Pets from Common Outdoor Dangers

The summer months are great for spending time outdoors, and since both dogs and cats can enjoy playing outside, you naturally want your pets to come with you. However, the outdoors also carries a few risks for your pets. By preparing for these potential dangers, you can make sure your pets enjoy the season as much as you!

First, take inventory of your backyard. There are a variety of plants that can cause health problems, even death, in both cats and dogs. Fruits and vegetables like grapes, tomatoes, rhubarb or potatoes, and flowers such as lilies, rhododendron plants, larkspur, daffodils and more can all be toxic, so keep your pets out of any vegetable or flower gardens.

Pesticides and insecticides can also be a fatal problem. These products are meant to kill insects, rodents and more – it will do the same thing to your pets. Don’t let your dogs or cats in the yard after pesticides have been sprayed, and keep any insect and rodent deterrents out of reach to prevent ingestion. If you suspect poisoning by plants or pesticides, bring your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

Whenever you let your pets outside, make sure they are always on a leash or contained with a fence or exercise pen. Not only is a loose pet against the law in many cities, there are also many other dangers in letting your pets run free. You never know what other problems your dog or cat may find, including fights with other animals, bites from diseased animals or oncoming traffic in the street.

Sunburn doesn’t only affect humans – it can also affect animals with light colored fur and noses. You can protect your pets by using an animal-specific sunscreen (not human!).

Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are always a risk of being outdoors as well. Make sure your pets are protected with a flea and tick treatment to prevent infestation and other diseases that these insects may carry.

By preparing for the potential risks your pet may face, you can avoid many fatal dangers in the outdoors. However, by inspecting your pet after they’ve been outside, you can also catch many insects or injuries before they become real problems. By making these precautions a regular part of playing outside with your pets, the summer season can be an enjoyable time for everyone!


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The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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