Keeping your Dog Safe Outdoors


Keeping your Dog Safe Outdoors

Our pets get spring fever just as much as we do. They miss the sunshine, the feel of grass under their feet, and those intoxicating smells. Is your dog eager to stretch their legs and resume their outdoor adventures? No wonder they’re scratching at the door to get out! But as a pet owner, your top priority is keeping your dog safe outdoors while they enjoy their springtime frolics. Here are some dangers to look out for.

Some Spring Flowers Can be Toxic

According to the veterinarians at, traditional spring flowers like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are usually safe for pets if you cut them and bring them indoors, but if your dog digs up and eats the bulbs when the flowers are still growing outdoors, those bulbs or other parts of the plant can cause:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

Later in the growing season, be wary of these outdoor plants too: Autumn Crocus; Azalea; Oleander; Cyclamen: Kalanchoe; Tiger Lilies; Day Lilies; Lily of the Valley.

Watch Out for Wild Critters

Wild animals are excited it’s springtime too, and many of them go through a burst of activity at this time of year as they search for food. They may also be aggressive in general when they’re looking for mating partners or protecting their young, and even a fence won’t deter them from entering your yard and possibly hurting your pet. Large predators like bears and coyotes are dangerous, yes, but even more modest-sized animals can be trouble. Small pets and older dogs are especially vulnerable to raccoons, possums,  dive-bombing birds, and even venomous snakes.

Boredom Invites Trouble

Yes, your pup is going to enjoy being out in the yard at first, but unless you’re out there with them, they’ll soon become bored and want to be with you again. Dogs were bred to be companion animals and they really don’t like being without their people, even if they have another dog to play with. When a dog’s bored, they’re more likely to dig out under a fence and escape or even engage in other destructive behavior like tearing down aluminum siding. If your pet’s going to be out alone, even for a short time, be sure they have plenty of toys to play with and check on them often.

Tip of the Tail

Keeping your dog safe outdoors in springtime is largely a matter of common sense and vigilance. All of the perils mentioned here can be resolved with one simple action: Treat your dog like a small child; whenever your pet’s outdoors, you should be outdoors too. You’ll feel better keeping an eye on them, and they’ll love having their favorite companion along to join in the fun—YOU.

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