You look out your slider to your backyard and everything seems fine. Nothing dangerous is looming, nothing is out of place. You turn away for a moment to pour a cup of coffee. You drop it in a panic when you hear your dog scream. In just 30-seconds of unsupervised play your dog is in critical condition and you’re facing a 10K vet bill. What in the world happened?
Pet Sitting Dangers Lurking in Yards
The above can happen to anyone, and in fact just did! We were dismayed to hear about a five year old lab in Virginia who was impaled by a piece of rebar in his backyard. Sadly enough, we weren’t surprised – just last week we avoided a similar incident. While on a pet sitting visit in Fort Collins we were supervising a play break for a kenneled puppy and pit bull. We found a small steel platform with welded spiky legs, turned upside down in overgrown grass, inches from where they were playing. Moments after picking it up, the puppy jumped sideways from his pal, right where it had been laying.
As professional pet sitting and dog walking company, we’ve literally seen all kinds of killer dog yards. We’ve seen dogs come dangerously close to impaling themselves on old, steel fence posts, garden stakes, rebar garden art, buckets of debris, etc. We’ve seen dogs race through remnants of old barbed wire fences in their yard after bunnies, narrowly escaping severe injury. Our professional pet sitting team has found razor blades, old lawn mower blades, rakes, gardening tools, steak knives, tools, BBQ forks, etc. in people’s lawns while caring for their pets.
“The simple truth is, we stare at things for so long in our own backyards they become an innocuous part of the landscape.”
Obviously, this post is not intended to cover every potential danger in your backyard. Every responsible pet owner knows the dangers of poisonous plants, fertilizers, cocoa shell mulch, rabid animals, predators, fleas/ticks, etc. It’s the dangers we’ve actually left in our own yards over the summertime that we often forget about.
With Old Man Winter dropping snow before long, we want to encourage everyone to:
- Scour your yard for things that could pose a threat to your dogs
- Check fences and locks to make sure they are in good repair and secure
- Select pet-safe ice melt for any areas your dogs may come in contact with
Remember, although your dogs may spend most of their time inside, your backyard is their space. They should have a “killer dog yard” in a good way! They should be able to explore, run, jump play and relax in their yard without a care in the world. Make your backyard a safe haven your dog can use and enjoy all year-round!