Jordan Walker loves everything about animals. He has published several articles about it as the lead content curator for Coops And Cages, as well as other pet related blogs. In this guest post, he shares the outdoor dangers that could put your pet’s safety at risk.
Pets love outdoor activities. These can bring them fun and enjoyment because being able to play outdoors gives them the opportunity to explore new and interesting things. Plus, letting your pets go out for a while is good for their health and overall being.
As a pet owner, spending quality time with your pet doing outdoor activity should always come together with awareness, alertness and responsibility. This way, you can keep your pets away from harm.
Here are some outdoor dangers that you may not know but can harm your pets:
1. Cocoa mulch
Cocoa bean mulch, or more commonly known as cocoa mulch, is used in the garden to provide additional nutrients to the soil and serves as an attractive soil top cover.
While this is a must-have to gardeners, cocoa mulch can pose danger to your pets because of its theobromine and caffeine component. These two ingredients are also used to make chocolates – which are considered to be toxic foods to your pets such as cats and dogs.
If your pet happened to eat cocoa mulch, your pet will experience vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. Once you suspected that your pet ingested this product, seek immediate attention from a veterinarian.
2. Fertilizers and other soil additives
While playing out in the garden, you should keep an eye to your pet and prevent them from ingesting fertilizers or other soil additives. Usually, bone, blood and feather meals are used as fertilizers for plants, but they can be harmful to your pets.
Large intake of these products can block your pet’s gastrointestinal tract which can lead to indigestion and pancreatitis. As for fertilizer products that contain iron, your pet may also suffer from gastric upset due to iron poisoning.
3. Slug and snail baits
Slug and snail baits come in a variety of forms, and one of the most commonly used baits are pellet in shapes which are definitely an eye-catcher to your pet, especially dogs, because of their kibble-like appearance.
Although these are helpful garden products, they contain an active ingredient called metaldehyde which can be very poisonous to pets as it directly affects their nervous system. Even the slightest amount of this chemical is fatal to them.
4. Nails, stones and other small objects
Because of your pet’s playfulness and fondness to nature, they typically want to lick or chew anything they find colorful and attractive due to their hunger or curiosity.
Small blocks of toys that your kids have left after playing, decorative stones and gravel; and nails and screws that were dropped on the ground after a roof repair are harmful objects that should be kept away from your pets.
Accidental ingestion of these objects could lead to choking hazards and even blockage of the intestinal tract.
5. Garden plants and flowers
Dogs and cats are easily attracted to colors. Some plants that you may find helpful to humans do not turn out the same way to your beloved pets.
Lily of the Valley, Crocuses, Yew and Begonia are some of the common plants that are toxic to your animal companion. When ingested, your pets can experience vomiting, gastric irritation and weakness.
6. Uncovered garbage cans
Leaving garbage cans uncovered can also pose danger to your pets such as cats and dogs. Your feline friend and loyal companion are always full of curiosity, especially when they smell something nice. Yes, the smell of a garbage can is something heavenly to them.
Though garbage cans have irresistible scents, your cat and dog might get into trouble if they have eaten leftover foods that are covered in bacteria and molds. Eating bad food will give them a stomach upset.
To make your pet stop raiding the garbage can, pour in a little amount of ammonia in the garbage can to scare your pets away.
7. Moving cars and vehicles
If you think your pet can easily escape from your garden or driveway gate, it is better to add extension to your fence or any additional protection that he might need before he becomes a victim of vehicular accident from your neighbor or even worse, by your own family car.
Train your pets to get out of the way before you start the engine of your car to avoid getting them hit.
Ticks, fleas, bugs and flies are just few of the common pet parasites that can be found outdoors, especially during summer season.
Aside from the discomfort and itchiness that these parasites could bring to your pets, they could also carry a number of serious illnesses like Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis that are both caused by ticks.
If you’ll be letting your pets outdoors, protect your pets with anti-tick or anti-flea treatments.
9. Access to pools and water
Do not let your pet get out of your sight while enjoying your time doing outdoor activities to avoid any misfortune like drowning and injury once they accidentally jumped into the family pool or lake.
Although most dogs have mastered the doggie paddle, there are still quite a number of breeds like pugs and terriers that are not fond of swimming around. But if your pet loves the water as much as your kids do, make sure to supervise them and avoid keeping them too long especially on pools with chlorine as they could cause infection and irritation to your pet’s ears, eyes and nose.
10. Extreme weather condition
Just like humans, pets are also susceptible to extreme weather conditions. If you let your pet out during winter, they may experience a sudden drop in their body temperature called hypothermia. Pets with short or very little coat are more susceptible to this condition because of their low tolerance to cold temperature.
Summer months could also lead to heatstroke and sun burn to pets with thicker fur because their body temperature tends to rise quicker. If you are taking your pets on your summer outings, do not leave them in a parked car unattended as this can be a deathtrap to them because of heat exhaustion.
Keeping these outdoor risks in mind can make you become a happier and a more responsible pet owner. Remember, pets are family, so you must do everything to protect them from any harm.
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Author: Jordan Walker