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Spending Time Safely Outdoors With Your Pet

Spending Time Safely Outdoors With Your Pet

Top Reasons to Get Outdoors With Your Pet!

Exploring the outdoors isn’t just for dogs – you can do it with your other pets too!

Why should you get outdoors with your pets?

  1. Being outdoors can support the mental health of people and pets by reducing boredom, depression and anxiety.
  2. It’s an opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight, letting your pet explore new sights and scents.
  3. Staying active has numerous health benefits and can help lift your spirits.
  4. Letting your pet roll around in the grass, on sidewalks or patios can help your them cool off and scratch some itches they may be unable to reach on their own. Always be sure to brush their coat before they go back indoors or into your vehicle to keep them from consuming anything they may have rolled in.
  5. Spending time outdoors together is a great way to bond with your pet!

If you are enjoying time outdoors with your pet, the first thing we recommend is to check your local weather and air-quality conditions. We want to make sure everyone stays safe and has a great outdoor experience.

10 Outdoor Pet-Cautions

Here are some other things to keep in mind when outside with your dog, cat or rabbit – the three most common animals we adopt out here at EHS.

  1. Always monitor your pet when outdoors.
    • Extreme conditions can cause your pet to experience heat or cold distress, so it’s important you take appropriate measures to keep them comfortable. If they’re showing signs of being too cold or hot, head inside. To prevent heat stroke, remember to bring plenty of water and a bowl outdoors, and take regular breaks in the shade.
  2. Never leave your pet unattended.
    • Pets left on a harness and leash unattended pose several hazards, such as becoming tangled, and in severe cases, choking.
    • Staying outdoors with your pet reduces the chances of injury, escape and pet theft.
    • Remember to keep your pet on leash at all times, and only go off leash in areas designated to do so.
  3. Consider your pet’s preference for being outside.
    • Each pet is different and how quickly they get hot or cold depends on multiple factors including weight, breed, coat length, age and health. Brachycephalic (or short-nosed) breeds are especially prone to heat stress and should be closely monitored.
  4. Watch for yard toxins.
    • Many yard care treatments, pesticides and certain plants can be poisonous for your pets, causing serious harm or even death.
    • Before allowing your pet outdoors, inspect the environment for hazards.
    • Catios are a great option for cats, as it keeps your cat safe, while allowing them to have an enriching experience outdoors.
    • Always ensure small animals are kept in a secure enclosure, preferably with a bottom can help protect against our next point below…
  5. Be mindful of bugs and parasites.
    • Before taking your pet outside, carefully evaluate the outdoor environment, and always check your pet for ticks and fleas when you get home.
    • Talk to your veterinarian about parasite or deworming regimens to protect them while enjoying their time outdoors.
  6. Do not leave your pet’s food outdoors unattended.
    • Food can attract unwanted wildlife or other neighborhood animals.
  7. Be aware of potential predators.
    • Cats, rabbits and small dogs can all fall victim to birds of prey, other cats or dogs and wild animals.
    • Even without a direct attack, a severe scare to a bunny can be enough to trigger a heart attack. Make sure they are supervised at all times or kept in a covered pen or catio.
  8. Be sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and they are neutered or spayed in case they do encounter other animals or parasites.
  9. Ensure the weather is suitable for your pet.
    • While outdoors you pet will always need access to an adequate shelter and plenty of fresh water to drink.
  10. Updated identification and microchipping or tattooing is a must for all pets.
    • Proper identification increases the chance your pet will return to you should they escape from your yard or get lost while outdoors.

We hope these tips give you some great ideas on how to set up a safe space for you and your pet to enjoy the outdoors!

If you’re looking for fun ways to Connect with Pets anytime, check out our Humane Education page for great videos on animal topics and enrichments you can make at home.

Watch below to learn how to do a pet-check after spending time outdoors: