The days are warm, the breeze is cool, and you and your pet are chillin’ in your backyard oasis. It doesn’t get better than this. There are just a few potential risks to your pet that you should make note of and avoid, so you can kick back and relax, knowing your pet is safe to enjoy the day with you.
Hot Water in Garden Hoses
You might want to turn on the hose to give your pet a cooling shower, or a drink, but wait and let the water run first, until it cools off. Water in a hose that has been lying in the sun can reach temperatures as high as 60C (140F). You don’t want to unintentionally scald your pet.
Swimming Pools and Ponds
- Never leave pets or children unsupervised around a swimming pool or pond.
- Some breeds such as bulldogs and pugs are very poor swimmers, and may not be able to keep their faces out of the water, causing them to quickly drown if they aren’t removed. Consider investing in a dog life vest and have dogs who will never be good swimmers wear it any time they are around water.
- Make sure your pet has an easy means of exiting a pool if they accidentally fall in. Remember that your dog or cat likely cannot climb a slippery pool ladder. Strongly consider installing a “doggy ramp” on the side or ladder of your pool.
- Try and prevent your dog from drinking the pool water. Chlorine and other pool chemicals can be very irritating.
- If they have been in the pool, rinse your pet with fresh water to remove the chemically treated water.
Most dog owners know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Unfortunately, many don’t realize that cocoa bean mulch really is made from cocoa beans (the source of chocolate), and contains the same chemicals.
These chemicals, theobromine and caffeine are very toxic to to both dogs and cats, but cats are much less likely to ingest mulch. Theobromine stimulates the nervous system and may cause your dog to show symptoms such as hyperactivity, quivering, elevated blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, seizures, and eventually respiratory failure or cardiac arrest. If you think your dog has consumed even a small amount of cocoa mulch, call us immediately. (If we are closed, contact your nearest veterinary emergency facility.) Depending on the quantity your dog has ingested, we may need to induce vomiting as quickly as possible, put them on intravenous fluids for support and treat any other symptoms of toxicity.
When your pet is in the back yard, make sure that they always have access to shade and fresh water, even on cooler days.
Any backyard is likely to be visited by insects that can sting your pet: bees, wasps and the like. Read our detailed post on the health hazards, and what to do: