By: Clara Beaufort
With warmer weather just around the corner, your furry friends will likely be spending more and more time outdoors. Because pets are naturally low to the ground, you’ll need to keep a watchful eye on them, what they pick up, and what they might ingest. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you work to make your yard a safe place to play.
Consider natural options when fertilizing your grass. This can mean using homegrown compost or store-bought fertilizers with organic ingredients. You may need to stay off your grass for a while after spraying, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
With dogs running around, you’ll want to steer clear of hazardous insecticides. Neem oil is known as a natural alternative for keeping bugs and other pests away.
When it comes to killing weeds, you’ll also want to watch what you are spraying on your lawn and garden. There are actually many natural ways to rid your lawn of weeds. Try pouring boiling hot water over them and using corn gluten to prevent them from popping back up. Green Child Magazine also recommends that you “Combine 2 parts vinegar, 1 part water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle,” and “On the morning of a hot day, spray the solution on the weeds but be careful not to get it on other plants.”
Practicing pool and pond safety is a must with pets. Use several measures of protection to keep them safe. When it comes to your dogs, consider teaching them to swim so you don’t have to worry about them as much around water. Find their comfort level first and never leave them unsupervised. When having a party, make sure you assign someone to focus all his or her attention on whomever is in the pool. This should be a person who is CPR-certified and not busy reading, looking at a phone, or entertaining.
A gate around any body of water can be the best way to prevent a drowning, and it may be well worth it to install a fence. ImproveNet notes that the average cost for fence installation is between $1,733 to $2,680. A motion-sensor alarm is also a good option in that it will sound when anything goes near the water. Be sure to secure any doors that lead to the water from the house so no one can get access unless you are aware. Even a pool cover can end up trapping dogs. They could end up feeling panicked and disorientated. Consider putting in a ramp so that even if they do manage to get in, they have a way out if the stairs are covered.
As tempting as it may be, don’t leave your dogs to bask in the sunshine by themselves as they may get bored and into trouble. Instead give them a doghouse to help them escape the elements, and consider an underground fence so they stay within the property lines. Check your fence for holes that dogs could escape through, and place large rocks at the base of it to prevent them from digging out. Also make sure your deck is safe and secure, without any loose boards or protruding nails and bolts.
Everyone enjoys a lush green lawn in the summertime. As a pet lover, you’ll need to think carefully about how you maintain your yard. What’s easiest and cheapest isn’t always better when the safety and health of your beloved pets are concerned. Keep things they could eat like twigs and sticks off the ground. DogTipper urges caution around plants such as lilies, mushrooms, daffodils, and azaleas as they could be poisonous to your pooch. You should also keep your grass cut and avoiding piles of clutter in order to help ward off fleas, ticks, and even snakes.