For some animals, nothing compares to fresh air and a big grassy lawn. A lot of pet owners have legitimate concerns about their outdoor pets. Do you feel guilty about depriving their pets of the great outdoors? We sometimes will go to extreme measures to get our furbabies that simple pleasure of being outside from elaborate fencing to leashes. For dogs, this is not uncommon.
But tell me, have you ever seen a leashed cat or fences for cats? They exist and are used quite often. Beyond taking precautions to keep your pets from running off, there might be concerns right in your backyard. Let’s cover your concerns for outdoor pets and set some standards on precautionary steps to take when taking your pets outdoors!
Outdoor Pets and Parasites
Outdoor pets require special care to protect them from parasites. Fleas, ticks, worms, ear mites, and more can be picked up right outside your door. While not exactly life-threatening, we still don’t want our pets getting them. Luckily, they are usually easy to treat and even easier to prevent. Getting your pets on a parasite prevention program is a great start. Get them checked-up and vaccinated first thing before they are around other animals. Take them in yearly for check-ups and screenings. If you are concerned that they might have a parasite or a disease, contact your veterinarian right away.
Predators and Your Outdoor Pets
Having a pet door is so nice and beneficial, but it’s a good idea to keep a cautious eye to protect your outdoor pets. Depending on your area and how prone it is to wild animals hanging around, your pets might be at risk. In Ohio, we have a sizable population of coyotes. They have been known to creep into suburban backyards and attack pets. Even large birds can swoop down and pick up those toy breed dogs that are so popular. Talk to your neighbors and inquire with local wildlife experts about what to watch out for in keeping your outdoor pets safe.
Roaming Is A Risk
Outdoor pets love to roam when they have the opportunity. There are many examples of the pet owner who didn’t see that hole in their fence until it was too late. You might automatically think of them getting lost. That worry is warranted, but they can get hit by cars, attacked by other animals, taken, and get into so many other dangerous situations. You might even come upon funny situations like your dog sneaking over and impregnating the neighbor’s dog. Whichever the case, it’s best to make sure their area is very secure. Take it seriously when they get loose. Raise concern with other neighbors when their pets get out.
We mostly want to give our pets the option to go outside, but is it okay to keep them outside? Domesticated animal experts say no. Even if you provide shelter and water, there are significant drawbacks to keeping your pet outside.
– Dogs – Many studies show that domesticated dogs do not make good outside pets. They are pack animals and thrive on companionship. They will often develop behavioral issues that can put you and them at danger. Other situations can also pose threats such as animal attacks, theft, poisoning, heat stroke and more.
– Cats – A cat’s average life expectancy is 10 to 15 years when they are always indoors. When they are mostly outdoors, their life expectancy is drastically reduced. There are just too many hazards for them to experience. Beyond all the situations that cut their lives short, they weigh heavily on the bird population. The common house cat is the most ferocious predictor on earth. Consider supervising them outside occasionally.
Keeping our outdoor pets safe is top priority. They are our family members and best friends. They depend on us for a quality of life. If you consider adding the outdoors as one of those qualities, make sure you take adequate precautions. One of those precautions should be getting them screened and checked up at least once a year. Need a veterinarian? Independence Pet Hospital is here to take care of your pet’s needs! Contact us to set up an appointment today!