Is It Okay to Leave my Pet Outside?

Due to the nature of some animals, many pet owners are inclined to leave their furry friends outdoors. Although this is appropriate for certain periods of time, it is generally not a good idea to leave your pet outside all of the time because there are a variety of safety issues that come into play. If your pet particularly enjoys hanging out in the yard, it is still important that he or she is let inside during times of inclement weather in order to avoid potentially deadly health conditions which could also result in having to make an insurance claim. Even if your dog or cat is outside for short periods of time, you should always have the right tools available to ensure his or her comfort.

Safety Issues

Although the outdoors seems like a fun and even natural atmosphere to your pet, it can also pose a host of potential dangers to domesticated animals. Even if your yard is fenced in, other animals can potentially jump over and put your pet's safety at risk. If your dogs or cats go outside for any extended periods of time, it is even more important that they get vaccinated on a regular basis, including state-required rabies shots.

Insects can also pose dangers when your furry friend is on the prowl. Fire ants, wasps and mosquitoes can all harm your pet, and possibly spread diseases. It is important that you check your home's perimeter on a daily basis to ensure that none of these creatures are present in order to minimize your pet's risk of injury.

Some of the most common types of health-related issues for outdoor family pets are a direct cause of inclement weather. Extreme heat can cause dehydration, and even heat strokes. On hot summer days, you should bring your pet inside, and only allow him or her to roam outdoors for short periods of time in the shade. Extreme cold can pose just as many dangers, especially when outside temperatures drop below the freezing mark.

Sadly, many pets are killed every year by motorists. Your dog or cat can potentially escape and unknowingly come directly into the path of a car or truck. The chances of this occurring are greatly increased the longer your family pet stays outside for extended periods of time.

Given the variety of safety issues that your yard poses, you should strongly weigh any risks against the benefits that being outside can provide for your pet. Keep in mind that certain pets, such as dogs, are more social, so they might prefer to remain indoors with other humans so that they can engage in constant interaction. Your veterinarian can also make a recommendation as to how often your pet should be outside on his or her own, if at all.

What Outside Pets Need

Although there are safety issues involved with being outside, this is not to say that your furry friend should never be allowed outdoors. In fact, some animals, such as dogs, need the fresh air and exercise in order to maintain their fitness levels and decrease hyperactivity. For the best results, only let your pet outside when supervised. If your yard is not enclosed, then you should consider using a long leash for safety.

All animals need open access to essential tools, such as food and fresh water. If you do decide to let your pet be outdoors for an extended period of time, then you must leave out a bowl with dry food, as well as a separate one for clean, fresh water. This will help to ensure that all of your pet's needs are met.

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