Nothing is more enjoyable than spending an idyllic, sunshine-filled day outdoors with your furry pal. However, while your pet is romping around your backyard, they could run afoul of certain dangers that may be lurking in tall grass, bushes, or your garden. And, when you take your pet for a walk around the neighborhood or to your local park, they can be exposed to even more health hazards. By learning about the most common outdoor dangers that may harm your pet, you can keep a close eye on their safety. Our team at Gentle Touch Animal Hospital has compiled five dangers you need to be aware of when you take your pet outdoors. 

#1: External and intestinal parasites can infect your pet and your family

One of the most common dangers your furry pal can encounter outdoors is parasites. Even indoor pets can contract illnesses from mosquitoes and ticks, or develop a flea infestation, and your pet can also carry these pests to you. Many parasitic diseases are transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes, such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and heartworm disease, while fleas can be the cause of intense, allergy-driven itching. 

Intestinal parasites can also infect your pet when they venture outdoors, and some of these parasites can be passed on to you. Most intestinal parasites are transmitted by the fecal-oral route, so keep your pet away from animal stool, whether it’s been left by a dog, a cat, or a wild animal.

Protect your pet from fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites by ensuring their prevention reaches your door every month. Select the parasite preventive that suits your pet’s needs from our online pharmacy, and schedule an auto shipment for each month so your furry pal never misses a dose.

#2: Various pathogens can cause serious illness in your pet

Other cats and dogs can carry infectious diseases that your pet can contract, but local wildlife can also be a source. Routine vaccination can help protect your pet from various diseases, such as distemper, leptospirosis, and rabies, but avoiding contact with wildlife will also help keep your furry pal safe. If you encounter wild animals when you’re out walking through a park or the woods and their behavior seems unusual, give them a wide berth. 

#3: Plants and gardening supplies can cause a toxic reaction in your pet

When out digging up weeds and turning over the dirt in your garden, it’s nice to have a set of helping paws, but your four-legged friend can get into mischief as well as dirt. Lawn and garden fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are often loaded with ingredients that can be toxic to your pet. Even organic fertilizers made from blood and bone meal—which are especially tempting to pets—can harm your furry pal. Additionally, many plants can poison your pet, so be cautious when planning your garden or flower beds. Before stocking up on beautiful blooms and lush greenery, check the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants to ensure you choose safe options for your yard.  

#4: Bees, wasps, and ants can lead to an allergic reaction in your pet

As your pet follows their nose, exploring interesting scents, they may stumble across unexpected hazards. Bees, wasps, and ants are often irritated by inquisitive pets, and will likely retaliate with a bite or sting. Some pets are allergic to these insects, and can develop hives, a swollen muzzle, puffy eyes, or even difficulty breathing. If you notice your pet displaying an allergic reaction after an encounter with a stinging or biting insect, contact your Gentle Touch Animal Hospital veterinarian, as your furry pal may require urgent treatment.

#5: Weather patterns can be dangerous to your exposed pet

No matter what season it is, inclement weather is a concern. When heading outdoors with your pet, closely monitor the weather and avoid extreme temperatures and humidity levels. During hot days, exercise your pet early in the morning when it’s coolest, ensure they have plenty of fresh water and shade, and head indoors if you notice your pet is panting more than normal. On frigid days, head out during the early afternoon, which is typically the warmest part of the day. Bundle up your pet and protect their paws from deicing salt, snow, and ice. If your furry pal begins to shiver and shake, head back inside. By taking the proper precautions keeping an eye on the weather, you can safely enjoy the outdoors with your pet.

Contact our Gentle Touch Animal Hospital team for your pet’s wellness visit to see if they need vaccination booster shots or to pick up more parasite prevention to ensure your furry companion will be as safe as possible outside this summer.