Most pet owners would agree that having a dog or cat is one of the best pastimes in the world. From walks in the park to playdates with furry friends, caring for a pet is both fun and rewarding. That’s why it’s so important to pet owners that their dogs, cats and other animals stay safe when they aren’t around to protect them, especially if their four-legged companion is wandering around outdoors. From on-tap water supply to a traffic-shielding driveway gate, we’ve come up with a few ways to keep your pets healthy and safe as they roam throughout your yard.
1. Create a Shaded Area
While the fall and winter months keep the yard nice and cool, the summertime heat creates an entirely different scenario. Extremely hot temperatures can cause dehydration or exhaustion. If you live in an area that experiences high heat, protect your pet with a shaded area to give your pets a much-needed break from the sun when they’re outdoors for long periods of time. Create a garden space with plenty of lush foliage and leafy trees. Before planting new vegetation, we recommend consulting the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants to make sure any curious grazing won’t cause harm to your furry friend. Don’t forget to use organic, pet-friendly planters and fertilizers.
2. Provide Plenty of H2O
In the warmer months, dogs and cats tend to lap water overtime. It’s the key method of keeping their body temperature at a comfortable degree, so water is essential to helping your pets stay happy and healthy. Make sure you have a designated area with a plentiful water supply for your dogs and cats. It should be readily accessible, so they are able to refresh themselves whenever needed. Better yet, consider purchasing a water bowl that keeps water cold and clean with filters or insulation, or choose a refillable container that’s automatically filled using your garden hose or other household water sources.
For those scorching days, we suggest freezing a shallow amount of water in your pet’s bowl, then pouring fresh water on top so that your pet has access to an ice-cold drink while you’re out. Another way to keep your pets cool and entertained is freezing their favorite toys or treats in ice. They’ll love the incentive to stay busy, and you’ll love that they’re staying hydrated.
3. Keep Pets Contained
Perhaps the most important safety step to consider as a pet owner is how to keep them inside your yard and out of dangerous environments. Every pet is different, and so is their level of curiosity. For dogs and cats who don’t mind staying within a certain perimeter, a short decorative fence may be just the thing to keep pets in and hazards out. If you have a more adventurous critter, we suggest a tall, paneled fence. It’s an affordable choice, and maintains its beauty and structural integrity despite the weather or your dog’s insatiable desire to see just what is on the other side. A high fence is also hard to climb, making it ideal for outdoor cats.
You might also consider adding a front-yard fence and a driveway gate to keep your companion safely away from oncoming traffic. This is especially important if you live in a busy neighborhood, or if your furry friend is prone to chasing squirrels into the street. If you have a slinky cat or a determined dog, look for a tall, close-to-the-ground model they won’t be able to sneak under or hop over.
Do you have dogs or cats that need a few extra safety precautions this spring? What have you done to keep your pets safe?