How to Dog-Proof Your Yard for Pet Safety

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We all love our dogs. And they rely on us to protect them, including when outdoors. Go outside with your pup and play fetch. Search for worms in the garden. Or just laze about in the sun. But to make sure your pet stays safe, follow the tips below to dog-proof your yard.

1. Install a Fence 

The best way to keep your pet in your yard — and teach him about boundaries — is to construct a fence around your property. A secure fence will keep your beloved pup from wandering off or getting hurt. Check for tiny gaps or holes that your dog may be able to wiggle through. And remember that dogs often dig, so it may be necessary to install a fence that extends deep into the ground. 

2. Choose Safe Plants  

A backyard full of vegetation can be beautiful and relaxing. But keep in mind dogs are curious, willing to dig up and chew on different plants. Those with a bulb at their base, like daffodils, tulips, lilies, and rhubarb leaves, aren’t safe for pets. Others plants to avoid include aloe vera, geraniums, and daisies.  

Plants that may be safe for dogs include: 

  • Sage 
  • Petunias 
  • Sunflowers 
  • African violets 
  • Snapdragons

Check to make sure any new flower or sapling is safe for your pets before planting.  

3. Fence Off Pools 

Your dog might be a strong swimmer. But left unattended, you never know if an accident might occur. A fence is the best way to keep your dog secure. Teach your pup the safe way to enter and exit a pool, starting from an early age if possible. Associate getting in the water with a simple command like “swim.” As a bonus, a fence around your pool will deter neighborhood kids who think they can sneak in a dip. 

4. Maintain the Lawn 

An unkempt yard is a hot zone for ticks who want a ride on your pup’s skin. Regularly maintain your yard to keep bugs at bay. Keep grass trimmed and pick up twigs, pinecones, fruit, and other debris. If you use insecticides on your lawn, be sure to bring dogs inside for the day to avoid illness. The chemicals found in most treatments — organophosphates, and carbamates — are toxic to pets and can cause adverse symptoms. 

5. Add a Dog House 

Your dog likely loves spending time outdoors. He can roam the grass, sniff the trees and meet other creatures. But it’s also essential to give Fido a place to rest. A dog house or kennel will do the trick. In the summer, make sure the dog house is situated under a tree or shady spot to protect from sun and rain. In the winter, add blankets or hay for your pup to stay warm. 

6. Secure Trash Cans  

We train our dogs to stay away from the trash. But sometimes, the temptation is too strong. Get an outdoor trash bin with a lid that latches. If necessary, put up a fence to keep the contents secure. If your pup unwittingly ingests moldy food, the result could be tremorgenic mycotoxicosis, a fungus found in dairies and grains that can cause your pet to tremor. If you believe your pet has eaten moldy food, take him to a veterinarian right away.  

7. Provide Some Shade 

The shade is necessary for your pet’s safety when outdoors. If you don’t have any trees creating natural shade in your yard, consider making your own. Use PVC pipe and fabric to create a dog-sized tent that’s lightweight and easy to move around. Fasten a tarp to four corners of the yard to create a hanging island free of the sun where your pup can relax. Or make a simple tepee structure with two-by-fours and burlap where your dog can sleep the sunny day away. 

Consider Dog Insurance

If your dog is like most, he loves the chance to roam the back yard — especially when the weather is warm. Follow the seven tricks above to dog-proof your yard and ensure your beloved pet is always safe.  For an added layer of protection, consider adding a dog insurance policy.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.