Posted 46d ago
After a bleak winter of seemingly endless lockdowns, summer has finally arrived and it is no surprise that people are desperate to get out in the garden and enjoy the sunshine.
But while we bask in the sun and have fun relaxing there are a whole host of dangerous pet pitfalls lurking in our gardens.
It’s worth pawsing to stop and think to make sure your dog is safe. Follow these guidelines and it should all be a walk in the park…..
Toxic Plants: Just like human foods, there are many plants that are not harmful to us but are potentially toxic to dogs. Common garden plants such as ivy, daffodils, hydrangea, tulips, rhubarb, and asparagus will all make your dogs fall ill.
It is highly unlikely that a plant will be fatal, but do contact your vet urgently if you think that your dog has ingested any toxic plant.
To avoid any horrible mishap, it is always worth searching online or consulting your local garden centre to ask whether particular species of plants are toxic or not. If you already own a toxic plant, remove it or replant in an area where a dog cannot access it, such as a planter or hanging plant pot.
Avoid Fertilisers, Pesticides and Garden Chemicals: Some fertilisers and most pesticides do have ‘irritants to pets’ indicators on the bottles, so do think twice and check before using if you are unsure. Most brands will have customer service lines for FAQs, such as questions regarding exposure to pets.
If you have to use these chemicals, consult the instructions or manufacturer to establish how long the cooling off period is before you can let your dog back onto the lawn to play fetch.
Shelter/shade: Just like humans, dogs love a pad to call home.
Shelters or dog houses provide shade in the baking sun, or a bit of cover during a downpour. If a dog knows that it is the lucky owner of its own canine home, then it will be less likely to go off and explore.
Certain larger dog breeds, such as Siberian huskies, mastiffs, and Rottweilers, are classed as outdoor dogs and being outside is an essential part of their daily routine of pretending to be a wild wolf. Again, a shelter is essential for shade, bad weather, or for warmth.
Security: Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that lockdown has spurred on the number of dog thefts in the UK, and the RSPCA is urging dog owners to stay vigilant and invest in good security. Even something as simple as having a sturdier fence with no gaps will do better in stopping thieves from spotting a dog. For some, smart home security tech has helped catch thieves before it is too late.
Solid Ground: Dogs love being active and running around.
Therefore, it is incredibly important that the ground under their feet is sturdy and flat enough to run about and prance around.
This is often overlooked by a lot of new dog owners and there have been some horror stories of dogs getting stuck or injured on uneven or loose surfaces.
The best gardens for dogs are flat patios and grass.
Avoid stones and pebbles if possible and make sure that there are not any nasty gutters or holes to get a paw stuck down.
Barbeques: Barbeques are fun and entertaining for humans, but for dogs it can be a different story. Keep dogs at a safe distance from the barbeque as hot flames, hot coal and hot food can cause serious burns. Pet parents should keep their wits about them and use common sense to keep firelighters and alcoholic drinks out of paws reach, as well as bagged rubbish, which may contain sharp kebab skewers, cooked brittle bones and corn on the cob, all a common cause of serious internal injuries.
There are quite a lot of potential hazards in this situation, so it is probably best practice to keep dogs inside during barbequing, especially the larger, more excitable breeds
Finally, always have plenty of fresh, clean water available for dogs in the garden and keep bowls topped up, which is especially important in hot weather and when you have excitable pooches playing in the sunshine.
Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager for Natures Menu, who specialises in raw and natural dog and cat food said: “At the end of the day, dogs are descendants of wild animals and will evoke certain curious behaviours when outside in the garden. It is up to us as responsible owners to make sure that we are doing our duty in keeping them safe and sound within the confines of our homes.”