How to Keep Your Dog Safe Outside
It’s no secret: Dogs love spending time outside. Even so, canines are social creatures that adore being around their people more than they enjoy being alone. Sometimes, however, circumstances may force you to keep your dog outdoors for several hours at a time. When you must leave your dog unattended in your yard, it’s important to provide a secure and comfortable environment. What can you do to make sure your dog is safe while you’re not around? Check out the helpful tips below.
Check the Weather
Just as you become uncomfortable in extreme temperatures, so does your dog. As a general rule, if the outside temperature is too hot or cold for you to handle comfortably, it’s not appropriate for your dog either. Yes, your pup might have a nice coat of fur to protect against the harsh cold, but most domestic breeds aren’t equipped to spend substantial time in freezing temperatures. Most breeds don’t do well in hot or excessively humid environments either. That same coat that gives your dog extra insulation against the cold can be stifling in overly warm outdoor temperatures. Hot, humid conditions can lead to dehydration and heatstroke while freezing temps can result in frostbite and hypothermia. If you wouldn’t want to spend time outside because of the weather, don’t subject your dog to it either.
Your pup might be impervious to most insects, but pests that sting or bite can cause serious health issues for your pooch. Dogs are notorious for sticking their noses where they don’t belong—and sometimes, it’s smack dab in the middle of a nest of ornery insects. To protect your dog from painful and potentially life-threatening stings and insect bites, you should check in places where bees and wasps typically build their nests. Scan your yard for ant colonies as well since certain ant species can also deliver painful and irritating bites. To safely remove pests from your yard, try using natural sprays designed to repel or kill insects. Since your dog will still be sniffing around even after those pests are long gone, you don’t want dangerous chemical residue in your yard.
If you must leave your pup outdoors, make sure you provide adequate shelter and shade. Surprisingly, a dog house may not be the most appropriate option in certain climates. If the weather is hot and humid, the confines of a small house can make your pup too hot. In cold weather, however, your dog needs shelter from freezing, harsh winds. Ideally, you should provide a covered area that allows for adequate airflow in the summer but also shields against lashing winds during winter. If you’re set on the idea of an outdoor home for your furry friend, an insulated dog house works wonders to protect against both heat and cold.
Ideally, you should exercise your dog outside but allow your pup to live indoors as most dogs are happier spending time with their owners. Sometimes, however, certain circumstances necessitate leaving your dog outside for extended periods. As long as you provide the same creature comforts you would expect, your dog should have no problem enduring a few hours outdoors without you.
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