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It is the summer, and chances are your dog is spending a decent amount of time in your yard. We would like to think that our backyard is a safe zone, but in reality there are many dangers lurking where you least expect them. Follow these safety tips to be sure that your pet is safe in your own backyard.

• Most important rule: Never, ever leave your pet unattended. Your pet should never be left alone in the yard without anyone paying attention. Even in the most secure environment, animals can get themselves into trouble. A collar may get caught on something, a wayward raccoon or stray dog may find itself in your yard, or your pets might get into a scuffle over a toy. It is really in your pet’s best interest to supervise their activity in the backyard. Another bonus to keeping close tabs on your furry friends: You will be more familiar with their day-to-day habits and be able to detect problems earlier.
• Be sure that your yard is secure. Fix broken fences immediately so that wildlife or stray animals can’t get in easily. Be sure to repair holes under fences so that your pet cannot easily escape. If you have your dog tethered outside be sure that the line is in good repair and that there is no way for your pet to become tangled in it. Pets who get out of their yard often become lost or can be hit by a car. Supervision and common sense can help to prevent these tragedies.
• Prevent your pet from accessing hazards. Many things in the yard can be dangerous or even deadly for your pets. Be familiar with the plants in your yard. Make sure none of them are toxic to your animals. Keep things like lawn chemicals, slug or rat bait, and birdseed well out of your pet’s reach. Also be sure to secure pools or other water bodies on your property. Unsupervised pets, even if normally good swimmers, can get themselves into a lot of trouble in water.
• Always provide shelter and fresh water. Most pets overheat at milder temperatures when owners are less concerned about the danger of being outside. A pet that is spending any significant time outside should have access to shelter from the elements and fresh, cool water at all times.

Make sure your pet is safe in its own home! They are just like children. You would never leave a small child alone in your backyard, don’t let your pet out unsupervised, either.