6 Backyard Pet Hazards

Backyard Pet Safety

A fenced-in yard with room to play and explore might seem like the ideal sanctuary for pets, but there are dangers to be aware of. Here are 6 backyard hazards to watch out for to ensure your furry family member plays safely!

Fence Holes

It’s important to do a parameter check of your backyard fencing twice a year. Check for gaps or holes big enough to be an escape route. Fence height and material is important depending on your type of pet. Ensure gates have secure latches and locks to prevent anyone from unknowingly entering or accidentally leaving the gate open.

Mushrooms

Most mushrooms aren't toxic, but some can result in toxicity and even death for some pets. As mushrooms sprout up they should be removed. Your local garden centre can help ID the specimen to help ease worry and provide tips about how to fight the fungi.

BBQ/Fire Pit

Keep curious pets on a short leash nearby with constant supervision if you have a fire pit or open flame BBQ. Extinguish the fire with water and get rid of any sticks, logs or grills that have food remnants. Even though most BBQ's are elevated, they still pose a threat to the curious pet whose nose is filled with the sweet smells of cooked meat. Scrape the BBQ down after use and cover it. Store any brushes or utensils out of reach- especially dangerous scrapers with metal bristles.

Wildlife

In Ontario, it's not uncommon to run across the odd raccoon, porcupine, fox or coyote. Any strange animal can pose a danger to your pet, especially if they are confronted by the animal or try to engage with it. Pick up any food bowls, trash or scraps that might bring unwanted attention. Ensure appropriate fencing is in place where it makes sense.

Fertilizers

Fertilizers can contain harmful chemicals and additives that can poison or make your pet sick. It’s important to read all product instructions carefully and keep your pets inside during application and preferably off the lawn for 48 hours. During this time, it’s best to take your dog for a walk or to the park to go to the washroom. If you are unable to do so, washing your pet's paws after being out on the lawn is a good idea. They won't ingest anything toxic if they decide to lick their paws.

Compost

Composting is great, but with pets around, it needs to be done appropriately. Pets should not have access to the compost bin or pile as this can be a source of dangerous pathogens that can seriously harm or kill your pet. Moldy foods have the potential to cause neurological symptoms such as tremors or seizures, which is why compost should always be fenced off or locked in a secure bin.

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