Whether you are a Pet Sitter or a Pet Owner, a secure, safe property is a top priority to reduce the risk of escape or harm to pets. PetCloud is here to give you our top ten tips for securing your yard.
1. Regularly check and maintain your Fences
- Needs to be sturdy material - Is the fence poorly constructed or poorly maintained, or inappropriate for containing dogs (such as an electric containment system)?
- Prevent escapes Under, Through, or Above - Ensure your fence is appropriate the size and breed of dog so they can’t go - Height off the ground and above the ground - Is the fence high enough and low enough to prevent the dog from escaping over or under? Are there gaps or holes in the fence that may allow an animal to squeeze through?
- Land Slopes or furniture - Does the slope of the land or adjacent furniture make the fence less secure (facilitating escape either over or under the fence)?
2. Regularly check and maintain Gates & Latches
Do the gates have latches that can effectively keep the gates closed?
3. Fence all Bodies of Water
Water: Are there unfenced water features, such as a pool, fish pond or dam? Many pool fences won't exclude a small dog or puppy, and they can drown if they accidently fall in and are unable to get out.
4. Put up a Barrier where Cars back in and out
Cars: Do cars back out through the dog containment area? If so, how will the dog be kept safe from the moving vehicle?
5. Discourage Local Predators
Keep grass low by mowing it every fortnight and twigs away. Avoid creating habitat for predators by keeping a tidy, well-maintained yard and shed. Actively discourage rats and mice, and snake-proof your aviaries and poultry pens.
- Snakes - To avoid the hottest parts of the day, Snakes love hiding in wood stacks, rock piles, food scraps, chook eggs, hay, dead branches, piles of leaves, under houses and low shrubs they can hide in.
- Cane toads - Cane toads love water and pet food. If possible, feed your pets indoors. Keep a doggy flap on all doors. Keen grass low. Fence bodies of water.
- Ticks - Ticks need blood to grow. They crawl up grass or twigs and drop onto passing animals or humans, attaching themselves to the soft skin to feed. Ensure your dog has some form of tick control.
- Redback spiders - Are spiderwebs and poisonous spiders cleared out of low bushes?
6. Pick up Rocks, Nuts, Berries, or Seeds
Rocks, Nuts, Berries, or Seeds: Are there other potential hazards in the yard, such as macadamia nuts, palm tree seeds, poisonous berries, or garden rocks? Rake your lawn.
7. Rid your yard of toxic plants.
A number of plants that are popular for gardening and landscaping are toxic to pets. The AEC provides a thorough list of plants you should either avoid completely, or make sure to keep out of reach of your pets. Some common ones include:
- Toxic Mushrooms - these tend to spring up in the lawn after rain, so be sure to pull them out.
8. Keep gardening substances out of reach
Compost, fertilizers, pesticides, and mulch can all make your pet sick if they get hold of them.
9. Provide Shade and Shelter
Is there adequate shade and shelter to protect the animal from the full force of the sun throughout the day and/or to escape adverse weather during thunderstorms? Remember, shade areas move throughout the day. It is important that shade is available ALL day long.
10. Provide non-spill big buckets of water.
Perhaps put a brick in the bottom if you have a particularly big dog so they don’t get knocked over.Regularly check your dogs water to ensure no cane toads get in there.
Is this list everything I need to check for?
Each pet minding situation needs to be individually assessed because what qualifies as adequate security for one pet may not be for another. These are some common safety hazards. Be alert for other hazards that are not listed here.
So who is responsible for ensuring a Sitter’s property is escape proof and hazard free?
The RSPCA says both pet owners and pet minders should appraise the property for the pet being minded; together, they are more likely to identify all potential escape routes and hazards and find acceptable solutions.
Read more: Pet Safety Tips for inside your home