How to Keep Your Outdoor Dog Safe in the Yard
Depending on where you live and what kind of dog you have, you may have an “outdoor dog”, or a dog that spends the bulk of its time outside. While you don’t want to completely isolate your dog, there are ways that you can ensure that your dog is perfectly happy outside the house. That being said, there are many dangers that your dog can experience when left alone outside for an extended period of time, such as weather conditions, poisonous plants or chemicals, and chance of them getting loose or becoming lonely.
Consider your dog’s emotions before leaving them outside for long amounts of time. Dogs are pack animals, and your human family is their pack. Allow outdoor exploring, but they want to be close to you, and for you to enjoy their company. As a homeowner, you may want to keep your dog outside to protect your home, but an unhappy dog is a quick route to a dog bite or canine liability case, and you should instead work to ensure that your dog is safe and happy wherever he is.
You need to protect your dog from wind, rain, snow, and extensive sun exposure. In extreme cold or hot conditions, allow them inside to balance the outside temperature. A dog that enjoys sunbathing should have plenty of access to shade and cold water.
If your dog must be kept outside for a long period of time, invest in an insulated waterproof kennel. Provide warm blankets in the winter and cool towels in the summer.
Never leave them alone for too much time because if something were to happen such as heatstroke or hypothermia, the longer it goes unattended the worse it will be.
Your dog must always have access to water. Lightweight water bowls easily knock over, so consider digging a shallow hole into the ground for a bucket. Fill it with water and the ground will keep the water cool.
Provide plenty of shade, because the sun can overwhelm your dog. If they can’t escape from the beating sun, they could overheat and won’t be able to regulate their body temperature. Dogs sunburn easily on their nose and ears. A place out of the sun will help prevent sunburn. Remember that pavement and sand become extremely hot, so grassy areas or mats on the ground can help greatly in controlling your dog’s temperature and preventing paw pad burns.
Dogs also need an escape from the cold winds. An insulated dog house provides protection and warming lamps can also be a great investment.
Think about your specific dog when implementing safety measures. Short-haired dogs need an extra layer of protection, as they lack the insulation that long-haired dogs’ fur provides.
Keep your dog away from any chemicals used outdoors. They can be very irritating to your dog’s paws and mucous membranes; but most importantly they are poisonous and can be fatal to your dog.
If a long time outside is a must, install a fence for a safely confined and unescapable space. This will also protect your dog from unwanted visitors.
Doggie doors can be useful if your dog is trained to relieve themselves and come back in immediately. Do not rely on your dog to decide how long to stay outside, and be sure to close the doggie door each night to prevent unwelcome visitors.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.