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Now that we are moving into the spring and summer months more and more dog owners are taking their dogs out with them or spending more time in the yard, throwing the ball for their pup!

Spending time outside is one of the most rewarding activities because it is healthy for you and your dog. What most dog owners don’t know is that there are a lot of dangerous things that your dog to get into when they are outside.

These things may be objects found in nature or things that grow in the backyard, on trails, near hiking paths and on the side of the road. There are many different items hiding in nature that you need to be aware of as a responsible pet owner!

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Here are the top seven things to look for when you are outside with your dog:

  1. Sticks and Branches: Tree branches may be one of your dog’s favorite things to play with, but they have proven to be very dangerous. It’s all fun and games until you have an unexpected vet bill because your pooch swallowed a piece of wood. When your dog swallows a stick or a tree branch it can splinter and get stuck in the dog’s esophagus and mouth. If your dog likes to chew, larger pieces of the branch can get stuck in the stomach lining or the intestines. When you’re cleaning up the yard make sure to pick up any extra brush and debris that can be potentially dangerous to your dog’s health.
  1. Plants and Flowers: Some of the most beautiful creations can be the most dangerous to your dog’s health. Many plants and flowers have systemic effects on the gastrointestinal tract. The consumption of plants and plant material is known to cause vomiting and gastrointestinal upset, sometimes the potentially toxic plant can be life threatening. Some of the most toxic plants and flowers are: Achira, Acorn Squash, Adam-and-Eve, Aloe Vera, Basil, Bay Laurel, Begonia, Big Shagbark Hickory, savory, Rattlebox, Red Palm lily.
  1. Cocoa Mulch: How can a pile of dirt be harmful to your pet? It seems like a silly idea, but Cocoa mulch contains the same ingredients as chocolate, theobromine and caffeine. This is not a lethal when ingested but it can lead to vomiting, increased heart rate, tremors, and seizures. It is best that you choose a different type of mulch that isn’t as dangerous for your pup. Keep in mind that mulch is on anything that you grow in the backyard and it can get on your dog’s paws.
  1. The Fence: One of the biggest misconceptions about fences is the idea that electric fences are the only dangerous types of fencing. Both wire fencing and wood fencing are just as dangerous. Many fences are not properly installed which can cause injuries to your pets. If your dog begins to dig under the fence or force their body/head through the gaps they can become stuck in the fence or become cut up in the process. A fence should be lined with chicken wire to prevent your dog from digging under the regular wire fencing. Make sure you keep your fence in good condition and do frequent safety checks.
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Cathy D. Evans
Life-long fan of all dogs including Finnegan pictured here. He's a Chinook about a year old with the most wonderful personality. Please enjoy this dog website and its content. “Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.” —Cesar Millan (dog trainer)

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