Are you getting a pup for your family? It’s important to keep your new dog safe from various dangers in and around your property. Here are seven tips to consider as you navigate dog motherhood.

1. Secure Fencing and Gates

The most fundamental step in keeping your dog safe on your property is to ensure that your fencing is secure and intact. Regularly inspect fences for any signs of wear, damage, or gaps where your dog might escape. Escaping your property might mean they get hit by a car. With motor vehicle accident cases lasting around 20 months in 2024, you don’t want to risk your dog suffering from a hit-and-run.

If you use a chain-link or wooden fence, make sure it is tall enough to prevent your dog from jumping over and has no footholds for climbing. Additionally, self-closing and self-latching gates can prevent your dog from wandering off if someone forgets to close the gate.

2. Provide Adequate Shelter

Protection from the elements is crucial for your dog’s well-being. Provide a comfortable and sturdy shelter that offers shade from the sun and refuge from rain, snow, and wind. Ensure that the shelter is insulated, especially if you live in a region with extreme weather conditions. The shelter should be large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably, and be kept clean to prevent diseases.

3. Regular Health Checks and Vaccinations

Keeping your dog safe includes maintaining their health. Regular veterinary check-ups can prevent many diseases and catch others early when they are easier to treat. Ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations, especially those that protect against diseases common in your area, such as rabies, distemper, and Lyme disease. Also, consider regular treatments for fleas, ticks, and heartworms.

4. Water and Food Safety

Ensure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times. During hot weather, check water supply frequently as it can evaporate or become too hot to drink. Place the water in a shaded area to keep it cool. Keep food dishes clean and remove any uneaten food to prevent attracting pests. Use heavy bowls that won’t tip over easily to ensure your dog always has access to their food.

5. Training and Boundaries

Training your dog to understand the boundaries of your property can be a life-saving measure. This may include attending puppy training classes, which 46.9% of dog owners enroll in. You’ll learn how to use positive reinforcement techniques to teach them where they can and cannot go.

Additionally, consider investing in a GPS collar or an invisible fence system to help keep your dog within designated boundaries. These systems can alert you if your dog strays from the property, allowing you to react quickly.

6. Eliminate Hazards

Walk through your property to identify and eliminate potential hazards. This includes securing toxic substances like antifreeze, pesticides, and fertilizers; ensuring there are no sharp objects or open wells they can fall into; and removing plants that might be poisonous to dogs, such as azaleas, tulips, and sago palms. Also, ensure that tools or machinery are securely stored away to prevent accidents. Portable generators kill 70 people each year in the U.S.; with this in mind, be sure your home’s generator cannot be accessed by your pup!

7. Supervision and Interaction

Finally, the best way to ensure your dog’s safety is by providing adequate supervision. Spend time with your dog outdoors to monitor their behavior and ensure they are not exhibiting potential escape behaviors or exploring unsafe areas. Interacting with your dog not only helps in reinforcing training but also strengthens your bond, making them more likely to stay close to home.

Implementing these tips will help create a safer environment for your dog on your property, ensuring they remain healthy, happy, and secure.