Fresh air and warm weather are some of the best parts of spring. The grass gets greener, flowers bloom and birds sing! It’s the perfect time of year to be outdoors, and that means letting your pets spend time enjoying the fresh air as well. Before we let our pets out to play, it’s a good idea to help protect them from potential dangers in the yard like insects and fertilizer. What can you do to help safeguard your yard for your pets this season?
Have Secure Fencing
Securely fencing in your yard serves so many purposes for protecting your pet. First and foremost, it prevents your pet from potentially running out into the street. It also protects people and pets that may be walking by your home. Even if your dog isn’t typically aggressive, there’s no way of knowing how he or she will interact with another dog that may be.
Additionally, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million Americans are injured by dog bites each year. Attorneys in Indiana state that in 2006, over 31,000 people needed reconstructive surgery due to dog bites.
Spray for Ants That Might Bite Pets
Ant colonies have the ability to completely take over your garden if not addressed. The colonies themselves, as most know, are far bigger than what meets the eye. If your yard has been neglected during the colder months, it’s possible that ant colonies have popped up without you even knowing. Check the entire yard and spray where necessary, as ants can wreak havoc on animals that tamper with their homes—purposefully or on accident.
Use Pet-Friendly Fertilizers
Some fertilizers can cause major harm to pets. Cocoa bean mulch is particularly harmful as it’s made from discarded cocoa bean shells—byproducts of chocolate production. It’s always a good idea to double-check labels before fertilizing, and don’t let your pets spend too much time in the yard for a couple of days afterward.
Keep Your Compost Covered
Compost is great for your garden, but as the organic matter decomposes mold forms. The compost can contain harmful pathogens, and as pets attempt to eat it, it may cause them to get sick within just half an hour. Keep your compost pile covered, or even create a fenced in area to keep pets away and safe.
Pay Attention to Poisonous Plants
It’s always a good idea to research the things you’re thinking of planting to see if they’re toxic to animals. Plants like the rhododendron, sago palm and azalea are popular outdoor plants, but they’re also poisonous to animals. Lilies are particularly poisonous to cats—even their pollen. It’s best just to keep these out of your garden altogether.
Keep Their Poop Scooped!
Pet waste contains bacteria, parasites and viruses. It’s not great for your animals, people, local dogs and other wildlife. Keeping it in your yard only attracts rodents. When it rains, the bacteria can then wash into storm drains transporting it to local streams or lakes. Keeping your pet’s poop scooped every day is the best solution.
Provide Shaded Areas
Pets don’t have the ability to tell you when they’re too hot, so providing lots of shade throughout your garden for them to lounge in is a great idea. The heat isn’t the only issue though. Similar to humans, pets need limited exposure to the sun as well. Though it isn’t seen often, skin cancer can exist in dogs and cats. Keep your pets cool in the shade, and they’ll be sure to thank you for it!