Backyard Pet Safety

Catherine Forman

If your pets are allowed to roam your backyard without supervision, you should make sure that your yard is safe! Think about your yard for a second and answer the following questions:

  1. Is the yard completely fenced? Make sure that all gates are securely closed. Make sure your pet can't jump over it or squeeze underneath it!
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  3. Is the yard not fenced or only partially fenced? You should always supervise your pets to make sure they don't run away. If you are putting your pet on a tie-out, keep an eye on them in case they become tangled.
  4. Have you planted things in your garden that are safe for your pets? If you have cats, keep in mind that some varieties of lilies can be poisonous. If you have dogs, don't plant onions in your garden; they can make your dog quite sick. It may be safer for your pets and for your vegetables to put up a fence to keep the pets out.
  5. Do you have a backyard pond or pool? What happens if your pet falls in? Is it shallow enough for them to be able to climb out? Do they know how to swim? If your pool has a solar cover or your pond has a net to catch leaves, a pet that falls in can become tangled and drown.
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  7. Is your yard clean and free of debris? You wouldn't want your dog or your child to step on a stray nail from that home improvement project or glass from when that soccer ball went through the back window.
  8. Does your dog like to dig? Watch out for those holes when you're walking around! A family member OR a pet could slip and hurt themselves in a hole.
  9. How often do you pick up pet waste? If you leave it too long, you'll attract flies and your yard won't smell so good. Your lawn won't stay very healthy, either.
  10. Do you leave fresh water out for your pets? They should have access to clean, fresh water at all times.
  11. Does your pet have a place to go to get out of the sun, or rain, or other weather? Pets can get heatstroke just like humans can! If you are going to leave them in the yard for any long period of time, make sure they have some form of shelter.

It may seem like preparing your yard for a pet is just as hard as preparing your yard for a child, but in a lot of ways, it's the same thing. A pet is a family member you love and don't want to see hurt, right? Take the time to make your yard safe for everyone!

Westie running in a yard

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November 5, 20120 found this helpful

I'm not in favor of the invisible fence. Yes, it keeps your dog in your yard but what protection does your pet have from stray dogs and other harmful animals. The fence doesn't keep them out of your yard. I want my pet safe especially in his own yard.

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November 5, 20120 found this helpful

I have two dogs. One dog must be tied out or he will run away. The other dog drifts from time to time so I must go out with them both each time they go out. I cannot afford a fence but I want a fenced in yard so badly. I would love to see my dogs have the freedom and the safety to roam free in a fenced in, safe back yard encloser...


This is the price of owning a pet that you might not think about before hand. I love my dogs and hope I'll be able to supply a fenced in yard for them both some day.

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November 5, 20120 found this helpful

I totally agree with jaegar about the invisible fence! Thankfully, there was a chain link fence here when I moved here, so my dogs are safe and cannot drift away. But I would not feel comfortable with an invisible fence at all.

Another animal could come in and attack them. If the other animal dragged them off, my dog would be shocked on top of being hurt by the other dog or coyote.


The offending animal would not suffer at all. If I didn't have a chain link fence, I would take my dogs out on leash only.

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