Outdoor Pet Safety in Yard and Garden

May 5, 2010

Outdoor Pet Safety in Yard and Garden

Now that spring is here, we are all ready to get out of the house and spend more time out of doors with our pets.  Here are some tips for keeping everyone safe and happy.

#1 Pick up the yard.  As the snow begins to melt, sticks, stones and pet waste will all need to be removed from your lawn. With a bag and a small shovel handy, clean the yard of any potential hazards.

#2 Groom properly.  Dogs that shed are getting rid of their winter coat, and unless you start brushing them regularly, your furniture and clothes will become victim to embarrassing dog hair.  It helps to get in a routine with the brushing—such as each night before bed.

#3 Get your Dog in shape.  After months indoors, your dog’s stamina might be lacking, and like many of us, they might have put on a few pounds over the holidays.  Take your dogs on shorter walks or runs to begin—followed by longer and longer ones.  Use the spring to get them in shape for the summer. While I love to walk my dog, I can’t always find time for these daily walks. A pet sitting service such as Fetch! Pet Care is the ideal solution.

#4 Replace your dog’s collar.  Use the change of seasons to get your pet dog a new collar.  Collars should be replaced annually to avoid the possibility of it becoming embedded.  They also collect lots of dirt and grime during the winter months, and they often wear out and get too small.

#5 Use pet-friendly lawn care products. Look for fertilizers and weed killers that are veterinarian approved or EPA certified. It is important to read the ingredients. Avoid products that contain carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, and chloroethane. If you read the manufacturer’s label you should have no problem identifying products which are both pet-safe and effective. Many of the commercial brands of pet-safe weed killers contain ingredients that you can probably find in your kitchen, like vinegar and other friendly kitchen products without added chemicals. Pet-friendly fertilizers are simple manures and scraps without additives.

#6 Avoid certain mulch products.  It is never a good idea for a dog or cat to eat mulching products such as tan bark, cedar or pine.  Most are generally treated with chemicals to retain their color and moisture. Never use cocoa bean mulch in an area where pets are allowed to be unsupervised.  It contains Theobromine, the same component as dark chocolate and can be deadly if consumed in sufficient quantity. Even the best dog will be attracted to it.

#7 Continue Heartworm and Flea and Tick Treatments.  Year round heartworm preventative for dogs is a must.  What some people don’t know is that cats can contract heartworm as well.  Ask your veterinarian if he recommends treating the house cat in your life as well.  Flea and tick products abound.  Follow your vets advice and the package directions for proper application and safety. The key is to administer on a regular basis such as the 1st of each month.  Mark a calendar or set a reminder on your cell phone or computer.

This article was written by Phyllis Durborow, owner of Fetch! Pet Care of North Indy.  Phyllis can be reached at 317-644-1465.  Fetch! Pet Care is the largest national pet care company in the United States; serving 38 states in more than 2,000 cities and towns.

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