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Everyone needs some exercise, and our four-legged friends are no exception to that rule. It’s great to let your dog run loose in a safely fenced-in area. before you do that, you need to make sure it is in fact a safe environment to let Fido run loose.

This guide is mostly for new pet owners, but even experienced caretakers can benefit from reading this guide.

Our pets love the great outdoors but they’re not wild animals and they need our protection from hazards both wild and manmade.

Assessing your Pet Enclosure

Step 1 is obviously going to be to make sure your enclosure will actually keep your pet in. Test your fence for holes or loose spots your dog might be able to crawl through. If you have a dog that loves to jump, it’s best to verify they can’t jump over the fence. Does your dog like to dig? You might have to reinforce the bottom of the fence against digging with stones, pavers, or consider some sort of invisible fence if those aren’t an option.

Hazards in the Lawn

Your pets can definitely run into trouble just having fun and rolling around in the grass. If you treat your lawn with chemical fertilizer or spray for pests, then you need to make sure those chemicals were applied long enough ago for it to be safe for your pets.

Depending on where you live, wildlife or dangerous plants could also be an issue. For many of us, the biggest issue here is what your dog might decide to eat! In addition to toxic plants and animals, be aware of the local wildlife like snakes or predators.

Finally, if you have a pool or live by the lake, don’t assume your dog will be a natural swimmer. Give it a test run under supervision if you have a larger dog. For smaller breeds, it might be best to just keep them fenced in away from the water.

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It’s good for our four legged friends to have fun, but we need to keep them safe from outdoor hazards. Taking some time to scout out the yard before you bring your new dog home can make sure they have a safe place to play and release some of that limitless energy we all wish we had.