September 18th, 2020

Top Reasons To Get Outdoors With Your Pet!

Exploring the outdoors isn’t just for dogs – you can do it with your other pets too!

Why should you get outdoors with your pets?

  1. Being outdoors can support the mental health of people and pets by reducing boredom, depression, and anxiety.
  2. Breath in the fresh air and enjoy the natural sunlight.
  3. Being active has numerous health benefits and can help lift our spirits.
  4. Rolling around in outside in grass, sidewalks, or patios can help your pet cool off and scratch some itches they may have been unable to reach on their own. Be sure to brush their coat out once before they go back indoors or in your vehicle to keep them from consuming anything they may have rolled in and to keep your indoor space clean.

If you are enjoying time outdoors with your pet, the first thing we recommend is to check your local weather and air-quality conditions. We want to make sure everyone stays safe and has a great outdoor experience.

Here are some other things to keep in mind when outside with your dog, cat or rabbit – the three most common animals we adopt out here at EHS.

10 Outdoor Pet-Cautions:

  1. Always monitor your pet when outdoors.
    • Inclement conditions can cause your pet to experience heat or cold distress, so it’s important that you take appropriate measures to keep them comfortable and if they’re showing signs of being too cold or hot, head inside.
  2. Never leave your pet unattended
    • If they are on a harness and leash they can get tangled, posing a number of hazards such as choking. Staying with your pet will also reduce the chances of pet theft.
  3. Consider that each animal’s preference for being outside is different.
    • Factors that impact how quickly your pet gets hot or cold include weight, breed, coat length, age, and health. Brachycephalic (or short-nosed) breeds are especially prone to heat stress.
  4. Many yard care treatments, pesticides, and certain plants can be incredibly toxic for our pets, causing serious harm or death.
    • When outdoors, inspect the environment and ensure your pet does not have access to any of these hazards. Catios are a great option for cats, as it keeps your cat safe while allowing them to have an enriching experience outdoors. Ensure small animals are kept in a secure enclosure, preferably with a bottom can help protect against our next point below…
  5. Bugs such as ticks and fleas, as well as dangerous parasites that your pet may not be protected against exist outdoors.
    • Check your animal thoroughly after spending time outside and consider the environment carefully.
    • Talk to your veterinarian about a parasite or deworming regimen that is appropriate for your pet
  6. Do not leave your pets food outdoors unattended.
    • Food can attract unwanted wildlife or other neighborhood animals.
  7. Be aware of potential predators if you have a small pet.
    • Cats, rabbits, and small dogs can all fall victim to birds of prey, other cats or dogs, racoons, and other wild animals. Even without a direct attack, a severe scare to a bunny can be enough to trigger a heart attack. Make sure they are supervised at all times or kept in a covered pen or catio.
  8. Be sure your pet is neutered or spayed and has all their vaccinations up to date in case they do encounter other animals or parasites.
  9. Ensure the weather is suitable for your pet and they have access to an adequate shelter and plenty of fresh water at all times.
  10. Ensure your pet has identification and is microchipped or tattooed (if applicable) so you have a better chance of finding them in case they do happen to get loose from your yard or outdoor space.

We hope these things to watch out for give you some good ideas on how to set up a safe space for you and your pet to enjoy the outdoors!

If you’re looking for fun ways to Connect with Pets at home, check out our Humane Education at Home page.

Here are 5 Outdoor Game Ideas!