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Safety Tips for Outdoor Dogs

Dog in a Kennel
Temperature extremes, exposure to the elements, and exposure to local wildlife can put an outdoor dog at risk for many problems. Luckily, as a pet owner, you can do a few things to keep your pet safe. If you have an outdoor dog, then these tips can help you protect your canine friend from dangers in the yard.  

Provide Proper Shelter and Supplies

Dogs need shelter to protect them from the sun and rain. Build your dog an outdoor home where he or she can retreat from the elements. Your outdoor shelter should include:
  • At roof that provides rainproof cover and shade.
  • Three walls that are capable of blocking wind
  • A comfortable bed
You can either buy your dog a doghouse or make your own. Either way, you'll need to test it out by pouring water on its roof and watch the house to ensure it provides shade. Remember that the sun moves positions, so the shade may move as well. Your dog needs to have a retreat where he or she can stay cool on hot summer afternoons. 

Pay close attention to your dog's house on the first windy or stormy day of the season. Your dog's house should be structurally sound, so it won't blow over or be damaged by high winds. Keep your dog's house fully stocked with enough water, and replace the water throughout the day. 

Bring Your Dog in at Night

Ideally, your outdoor dog will have a place inside your house at night. This gives your dog a safe space to retreat from night animals. An indoor space also provides protection from low nighttime temperatures during the winter. If you don't want your dog in the house, then consider giving your dog limited access to only a few rooms, or make your dog a safe, comfortable spot where he or she can sleep in the garage.

If you do give your dog a place to sleep in the garage, then put away all chemicals, fertilizers, power tools and all other hazardous or toxic materials. In other words, you need to dog proof your garage in the same way you would baby proof your home for a toddler. 

Check for Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks can live in the yard and attach themselves to your dog. Check your dog routinely for fleas and ticks, and watch your dog for signs that he or she is experiencing a problem. If your dog is scratching excessively or if your dog develops scabs or bald spots, this is a sign that your dog has fleas. When you pet your dog, feel the skin for bumps to ensure your dog is free of ticks.

Take your dog to the vet regularly and keep up with your dog's vaccinations and pest preventatives. If your dog does develop a problem, them treat him or her appropriately.  

Secure Your Yard

If your dog is kept in the yard via a fence, then be sure to keep it secure. Check the fence regularly for vulnerabilities, and have the fence repaired if it develops a hole. Remember that some dogs like to dig, so even if your fence only develops a small hole near the ground, this could be what your dog needs to get out.  

Microchipping your pet is a good way to help ensure that if your pet escapes the yard, you'll be able to get him or her back. Take your pet to the veterinarian and have a microchip inserted to keep your pet safe.

Keep Up With the Exercise

Just because your dog is in the yard doesn't mean that your dog will spend time running around. You are still responsible for ensuring that your pet gets to play and exercise on a regular basis. Dogs need to be exercised daily, so set aside time every day to spend with your pet.  

Contact Us With More Questions

At Escalon Small Animal Clinic, we're happy to answer pet owner questions about the best ways to keep their pets safe. To find out more about how you can keep your outdoor dog safe, give us a call today

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