Saturday, March 20, 2010
By Suzanne Alicie
Some dogs just aren’t able to be kept indoors. You can set up your yard in a way that you think is wonderful for your outdoor dog but there are dangers that even fenced and penned outdoor dogs face. You can’t simply put a dog out in the yard and assume he is safe. Some things you need to monitor and check are listed below, along with the reasons why these things are a danger to your dog.
Broken Fencing - No matter how much your dog loves his yard, if he sees a way to escape he will do so. There are so many intriguing smells coming from the other side of the fence that he will want to explore. The first danger in this is if the broken fencing creates a small hole, your dog will try to squeeze through and may injure himself on the broken edges. This can lead to tetanus, infection and possible life threatening injuries if the dog becomes stuck or pierced by the fence pieces. Once your dog is out in the world he faces the dangers of being hit by cars, attacked by other animals, and becoming lost. Even a short time out can cause serious damage to your outdoor dog. Check your fencing and any areas that the dog seems to be attracted to regularly, so you can repair any breaks before they cause a problem.
Disease - Outdoor dogs can be exposed to many kinds of disease in the back yard. These diseases can be spread through nature in the form of animal feces, dead rodents and even the occasional break-in by other neighborhood animals. When you have food and water out, stray and wild animals will attempt to get to it. Squirrels, rats and even birds can carry diseases that can pass to your dog. Some of the diseases that your dog can face are parvovirus, rabies, and even food contamination illnesses.
Exposure - Placing a dog house with a solid floor and a good roof is one step that you can take to protect your outdoor dog from exposure to the elements, but in extreme heat or cold your dog may still face the risk of exposure. In cases of extreme weather, moving an outdoor dog temporarily to a basement or garage is a better option than an outdoor doghouse.
Alienation - An outdoor dog is not included in the central family unit and may become somewhat unfriendly and territorial of his yard. It is important to make sure that you spend time paying with and grooming your outdoor dog to help him feel like part of a family.
All outdoor dogs not being professionally bred should be spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted puppies, which can happen if your dog goes into season and either gets out or other dogs get in. Besides the dangers listed above, there is also the chance of dehydration if the outdoor dogs water supply gets spilled or drank on a hot day and no one notices or refills until the next morning. Outdoor dogs should be checked on several times a day.
Remember that accidents can happen, dogs can get out and it is up to you to do everything you can to keep your outdoor dog safe and healthy.
Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie