Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated February 17, 2009)
If you have any kind of pet, then it's only natural that you take that pet outside every once in a while. Pets like to go outside, and who can blame them? Outdoors, it's often warm, breezy, sunny, and comfortable. The grass is green, the flowers fragrant, and who could really object to such activities? Even when it's cold outside, the snow is pretty and the air is refreshing. What pet wouldn't want to go outside? However, even though your pets may want and like to go outside, they do need supervision for a few different reasons.
First of all, your pets need supervision because you need to make sure that they don't escape and run away. While you may think that your backyard is escape-proof, animals have an uncanny way of finding a way out. Dogs can jump over or dig under fences, cats can climb trees and roofs, and pets can really just find any way out. If you're not supervising your pet, then you could be surprised and disappointed to find your pet not there when you go back outside. Also, if your pet is in the front yard, then you definitely need to be supervising it because there are few, if any, barriers.
Another reason to supervise your pet when it's outdoors is that you need to make sure that your pet doesn't get into any mischief. Mischief can include anything from chewing up the flowers in the flower bed to aggravating the dog next door to eating things it's not supposed to. This is usually more a problem with younger dogs and younger pets, but unless you are completely confident that your pet will not do any of the above things, then you need to supervise.
Outdoors doesn't just mean your back and front yards, but also includes the outdoors whenever you walk your dog. You need to supervise your dog for others' sakes and safety. Some people are genuinely afraid of dogs, and so if you perceive that your pet is scaring another person, be courteous and remove your pet from the area. You also need to supervise your pet because there are lots of things out there that can injure your pet. There are cars, bikes, buses, and other hazards, that if your pet runs into one of these situations, your pet could be seriously hurt.
So, while it is great to take your pet outdoors to let it enjoy the sun, the snow, the outdoors in its fullness, you do need to take responsibilities as a pet owner. By supervising your pet, then you succeed in ensuring its and others' safety and comfort.
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