6 Backyard Pet Hazards to Watch Out for This Summer

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Backyard Pet Hazards

With the arrival of spring and summer your dog and/or cat will be spending a lot more time in the yard. While it’s a great place for them to get some exercise, being in the backyard opens them up to a number or health and safety concerns. By recognizing these risks, you can take steps to prevent hazards from befalling your beloved companion. Park Insurance has partnered with Pets + Us to not only provide coverage for the extended members of your family, but to offer advice on how to keep them safe in what should be their sanctuary. Let’s review.

6 Things to Watch Out for to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Front and Backyard of Your Home

I. Holes in the Fence

Every six months or so (and definitely before the summer), it’s important to do a perimeter check of your home’s exterior fencing. Walk around to check for any gaps, holes or potential escape routes. Depending on the type and size of pet you have, the kind of fencing you choose (wire or wood), as well as its height is important. Make sure all gates have a secure latch or lock to prevent anyone from coming in, out, or leaving the gate open.

II. Mushrooms

While most mushrooms are considered non-toxic, some can result in severe clinical toxicity signs and even death for some pets. It’s important, as mushrooms start to sprout up (regardless of what kind), that they are removed from your yard. If you are unsure about the mushrooms growing in your yard, carefully remove one or two and bring them to your local garden store for identification. This should help ease some worry or give you the appropriate knowledge to help fight the fungi!

III. BBQ/Firepit

Never leave a firepit unattended. Keep a curious pet on a short leash nearby with constant supervision. When you are done, be sure to extinguish the fire with plenty of water and scrap the sticks, logs or grills that may contain any lingering food remnants. Most BBQ’s although elevated, still pose a threat to the curious pet whose nose is filled with the sweet smells of cooked meats and tangy summer sauces. After use, BBQs should be cleaned, closed and covered. It’s also important for any brushes or utensils to be cleaned and stored out of reach.

IV. Wildlife

Whether your pet is living the city or country life, there will always be predators out and about. From raccoons to porcupines, to bigger threats like a coyote or mountain lion (depending on your location), all can pose different dangers, especially if your pet is confronted or tries to engage with it. The best way to deter other animals from coming into your yard is to not leave anything enticing for them to find. It’s important that food bowls and trash are picked up and stored elsewhere. If in a more rural area, it’s also important to make sure appropriate fencing is in place and that your pet is supervised.

V. Fertilizers and Weed Killers

Everyone wants a lush green and weed free lawn, but, fertilizers and weed killers can contain harmful chemicals and additives that can poison and make your pets sick. To avoid a poisoning risk to your pet, it’s important to read all product instructions carefully and keep your pets inside during application and preferably off the lawn for 48hrs. During this time, it’s best to take your dog for a walk or to the park to do his or her business. If you are unable to do so, washing your pet’s paws after being out on the lawn is always a good habit to get into so if they lick their paws they won’t ingest anything toxic.

View more on poison prevention for your pets.

VI. Compost

If you compost – paws up! However, it’s important to make sure you are doing so appropriately. Pets should not have access to the compost bin or pile as this can be a source of dangerous pathogens that can seriously harm or kill your pet. Moldy foods have the potential to cause neurological symptoms such as tremors or seizures, which is why compost should always be fenced off or locked in a secure bin.

View more on toxin prevention for your pets.


Park Insurance has partnered with Pets + Us to provide a group of products and services that make being a pet owner easier. There are policies in place that will provide for veterinary care and treatment for injuries or poisonings that may occur while in the yard or anywhere for that matter. Coverage can include consultations, exams, emergency care, hospitalizations, drugs, surgery and more. View more about our pet insurance policies.

Download (and share) the Pets + Us “Backyard Pet Hazards” infographic right here. If you have any additional questions about coverage for your furry companion, feel free to contact us anytime.

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