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Cold weather dangers for pets: Why a fur coat isn't enough

Most people are aware that leaving a pet in a car on a hot day is a deadly mistake. But what isn’t as widely known is how dangerous cold temperatures can also be for pets. In the wintertime it’s tempting to let your dog outside to enjoy all the freedom your underground fencing has to offer them, knowing they won’t overheat. There’s no question that certain breeds of dogs are especially fond of running and playing in the snow. It’s also true that long periods of exposure to sub-freezing temperatures is hazardous to all domestic pets, from Huskies to Dachshunds.

Read more: Cold weather dangers for pets: Why a fur coat isn't enough

Like it or not, winter is coming — get your pet safety system ready

The unfortunate reality for pet owners in West Michigan is that, even though the fall season just kicked off, it’s never too early to start thinking about snow. You might not know when the white stuff will start to fly — you just know it’s going to happen eventually.

As the seasons change and we anticipate eventual snow, it’s important to prepare your underground pet safety fence accordingly. Many pet owners that are new to these types of safety systems often wonder if they need to make special adjustments.

In a nutshell, you will need to make few, if any, adjustments to your system during the snowy winter months. Below is some important information to know about snow and your system.

  • You might have to potentially widen the boundary: Most pet safety systems allow you to adjust the width of the boundary. This is the area around the buried wire. The only time you would have to make this adjustment is if the snow got really deep (several feet). This adjustment would compensate for the feet of snow and make sure that the signal still reaches your dog’s collar as it approaches the wire.
  • Snow does not pose a threat to your system: You don’t have to worry about even excessive snow damaging your pet safety system — that’s the beauty of having it under the ground. However, the colder months may not be the most ideal for installing a new system.
  • Make the necessary adjustments when the seasons change again: If you adjust anything with your system (i.e. boundary width) during the winter, make a note of it so that you know to re-adjust the system when the weather warms up again.

While the arctic weather and snow in West Michigan might have a minimal impact on your pet safety system, it can be a serious threat to your dogs. Make sure your dogs have access to a warm area of shelter and that they are not exposed to extremely cold temperatures for too long.

While a pet safety system will effectively keep them on your property, it is your responsibility to keep them safe from the elements.

Give your dog the backyard of its dreams

Thanks to the convenience and effectiveness of underground pet safety systems, your dog might be spending a lot more time outdoors than they once did. The pet fence provides a peace of mind for owners to let their dogs roam free without worry that they will wander off.

Because they’re outside so much, one important thing to do is analyze your property and determine if it is both safe and stimulating for your dog. We write so much on this blog about the dangers that await your dog outside of your property — but what about inside?

The following are a few tips to consider in order to create the ideal environment for your pet.

Safety and comfort is important

Above all else, you want to remove hazards from your property. Some hazards are easier to spot than others — open bags of fertilizer/pesticides, wasp nests, tight spaces where they could potentially get stuck and things like that.

However, there are certain types of plants and fungi that are considered toxic to dogs (i.e. lilies, daffodils, etc.). Take inventory of the plants on your property and do some research to make sure they are safe in case your dog decides he wants a little ill-advised snack.

You also want your dog to be comfortable on your property. Comfort can manifest itself in a number of forms:

  • Uncluttered, open space to run around in
  • Soft mulching materials that won’t hurt paws or stick to fur
  • An area that is consistently cleared of pet waste

Additionally, you can provide your dog with stimulation outside in a number of ways, from toys to a small water feature, which would serve a two-fold purpose of entertainment a hydration.

Shelter when needed

If something scares your pet, or the weather turns bad, you don’t want them stuck out in the elements. A small shelter or doghouse could be a nice touch for your property. Or, by simply installing a doggie door on your home, your dog can come indoors whenever they see fit.

Installing a pet safety system is the first step in protecting your dogs when they are outside. But, they need more than protection — these are fun-loving animals! Make sure they can have a space to enjoy themselves and stay safe.

Take extra measures to keep your pet safe

There is little to no doubt that underground pet safety systems are highly effective in keeping your dog or dogs contained on your property. As a service provider for some of the highest quality pet safety systems, we can attest to this effectiveness.

However, that doesn’t mean you should forgo other necessary precautions that would protect your dog were it to leave your property. For instance, if the batteries died in your system, your dog might find the chance to escape. Make sure to inspect your system to ensure it is running properly and consider taking some of the other following measures.

  • Investing in a microchip: Whether that chip is implanted along the dorsal midline of the dog, or worn externally on a tag, this is an effective way of helping others positively identify your dog and locate you.
  • Don’t leave your dog outside when you’re not home: It’s ok to have faith in your pet safety system, but you should always shy away from leaving your dog outdoors when you aren’t around to supervise. At the very least, they might bark constantly and create a disturbance. But, they could also find themselves in harm’s way even without leaving the property. Always keep an eye on your dog.
  • Properly maintain physical and underground fencing: Dogs can spend a lot of time digging underneath physical fences, creating soft spots in the perimeter that you might not notice right away. Similarly, with underground fencing, if the underground wire becomes severed or damaged, the whole system could be disabled. Whether you have physical fencing or a pet safety system, make sure to inspect it every now and then to ensure it’s functioning properly.

Pet safety systems are designed to do exactly what their name suggests — keep your dog safe. But, since this is a member of the family we’re talking about, don’t shy away from taking these extra precautions.

What to do about your digger

A propensity to dig is one of the more annoying and destructive traits you will find in dogs. Some canines dig holes for the fun of it while others furiously attempt to tunnel under fencing so they can escape the property.

In the latter scenario, the dog’s digging habit is not only destructive to your property, but also dangerous to them. Many dogs around the country are hurt or killed each year after digging out of their properties and wandering out on to streets or other hazardous areas.

Some dogs are simply more prone to this habit (i.e. terriers) while others pick it up out of necessity. All things considered, pet safety systems are an effective way of keeping your four-legged digger in the yard.

Create an impenetrable perimeter

When you create a perimeter around your property with an underground pet safety system, it means the dog is contained — they can’t walk over it and they can’t dig under it without the audio and electrical shock prompts.

This makes underground pet safety systems a superior alternative to physical fencing in this regard. But, if you already have physical fencing and are finding it nearly impossible to stop your dog from digging underneath, talk to a service provider about how an underground pet safety fence can be used to complement its physical counterpart.

Pet safety systems can also be used to quarter off flowerbeds, gardens and other areas where you don’t want you dog digging around in.

Why some dogs dig

It’s also important to understand the reason why your dog might be digging. Taking certain measures to meet their physical and psychological needs can help make the problem better. The Humane Society of the United States teaches that some of the reasons dogs choose to dig include:

  • They’re bored and it’s a form of entertainment
  • They are natural hunters and want to pursue prey
  • Seeking attention
  • They want to escape
  • Comfort (i.e. if they are too hot)

Examine your dog’s accommodations in your yard. Make sure they have toys and equipment to stimulate them. Take time to interact with them and show them attention. You might be able to cure their digging habit with a little work.

Pet safety systems are ideal for suburban living

Underground pet safety systems are effective on all different types of properties — from homes in suburban neighborhoods to rural farms and lakeside cottages. In our last blog post, we discussed the unique risks and challenges that come with housing dogs on large, sprawling rural properties.

Today, we’ll look at suburban homes and how underground pet safety systems are the ultimate tool in keeping your dogs contained on your property.

In close quarters, it’s very important to keep dogs on your property

Because there is such a high concentration of people within suburban subdivisions, it’s very important that you keep your dog inside your own property. Risks surround your pet, including:

  • The chances that a person or animal will harm your pet — or vice versa
  • Close proximity to both neighborhood roads and busier surface streets
  • Rules and regulations that state your dog cannot roam free
  • Your dog might cause damage to someone else’s property.

The last thing you want is your dog getting free and creating havoc. Few homeowners would disagree with this fact, but suburban properties can be sometimes tricky to outfit with a solution. You have to account for:

  • Abnormal property shapes: While rural properties tend to feature large, straight perimeters, suburban properties can be more intricate, especially considering landmarks on your property (more on this in a second). Pet safety systems seamlessly work around these abnormal areas.
  • Regulations: Neighborhood and homeowners associations govern most suburban subdivisions. These governing bodies often limit your ability to install physical fencing — leaving you with the superior option of the underground variety.
  • Different landmarks and landscaping features: Gardens, flowerbeds, driveways, sidewalks — your property likely has a number of areas to work around and restrict your dog’s access. This can be difficult with physical fencing but easy with underground pet safety systems.

Stroll through any subdivision and we’re confident you will find many homes with pet safety systems. Now you know why.

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