Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for the body and even the soul. People realize this, which is why outdoor activity is encouraged; staying indoors all the time can quickly sap energy levels and diminish mood.
What is good for human beings also may be good for pets — within reason, of course. Domestic companion animals can benefit from time in the great outdoors. It provides them new sights and sounds, opportunities to explore, and new ways to exercise. Their owners just need to take precautions to make outdoor ventures safe for domesticated animals. The good news is there are steps to make time outdoors safer for pets.
Make the yard pet-friendly
Those who have the benefit of a yard will want to fence it in. Fences stop pets from running away, and they can limit the probability that predators will get inside the yard. The yard should routinely be inspected for dangers, including poisonous plants (poison ivy, mushrooms) that pets may ingest, as well as other hazards.
Install a pet door
A pet door can provide convenient access to the outdoors when pets would like to get outside. Doors can be purchased with radio-signal locks that will disengage when a pet wearing an electric collar tries to go through; otherwise, the door stays closed for security reasons.
Work with your veterinarian to get a prescription for parasite preventatives. This includes flea and tick medication and worm medication. Pets may get heartworms from the bites of mosquitoes. Therefore, limit the number of mosquitoes on your property by draining standing water and potentially using repellents if mosquitoes are a nuisance.
Watch the weather
Pets will need ways to cool off or warm up when spending time outdoors. Extreme heat or cold could be dangerous, so avoid having pets spend prolonged periods of time outside if the weather is especially harsh.
Check in frequently
Pets should not be left entirely to their own devices outdoors. Fences may keep some predators out, but those that can fly or climb (or burrow) can make it inside. Keep tabs on pets while they are outside. Do not keep a dog tied up for a while, as the animal may get tangled and choke.
Use a leash
Walks around the neighborhood are made much safer with the use of leashes, or leads as they are sometimes called. A leash enables pet owners to restrain their pets if need be and prevent them from running loose and getting lost.
Avoid hidden poisons
Antifreeze, oil and even discarded trash can be dangerous to pets if ingested. Pet owners need to exercise caution on walks.
Exercise caution in stores
Certain retailers have relaxed their policies about letting pets inside. Others have not but seemingly turn a blind eye when pets come inside. By and large, only certified service animals are legally allowed to be in most retail stores. Bringing an “emotional support animal” or another pet in the store can compromise the ability of trained animals to properly provide care because they may become distracted by other pets. Non-service animals also may become injured by shopping carts or get under feet of shoppers if they are not properly leash-trained.
Pet owners can safeguard domesticated animals and pets in various ways when spending time outdoors.