For the first time in her life, my dog is now enjoying her own backyard. After moving from a two bedroom apartment into a three bedroom home, everything in her life has changed. It has also changed some of my concerns for her.

Having a huge yard for her to play in was a must when we were looking to purchase a house, but now that we have it, I worry about all the hidden dangers. These are so many things I have to think about before leaving her alone to play.

No fence

Our lot is a little less than half an acre, and isn’t fenced in. This means our beagle has to be on a tether to have any freedom. The tether is pretty safe, but there are some things I have to think about.

For starters, there are obstacles in the yard like a wooden swing and an old clothesline pole. These things aren’t dangerous, but the dog has gotten stuck on them by wrapping her tether around them. I am also worried about the tether breaking. It’s a metal wire covered in a soft plastic, and is pretty strong, but if it broke, she could end up in the busy street in front of the house.

Loose dogs

This wouldn’t be an issue if we had a fence, or at least wouldn’t be such a big one. However, since we do not have a fence we have to worry about other dogs coming into the yard while our dog is out there. I know that my dog isn’t one to pick a fight, but you never know about other dogs. I worry that a vicious dog may come in the yard and injure or kill my dog.

Eating strange things

My dog is one very strict diet because she was once severely overweight. About a year ago she weighed in at 64 pounds, and beagles are supposed to weigh around 25 pounds. With diet and exercise she is now around 40 pounds, which is about five pounds more than her veterinarian wants her to be.

To keep her weight under control, we are very careful with the amount of food she eats. When we started this, she became a scavenger. She looks for anything and everything edible, and it doesn’t matter what it is. Since moving here, I’ve caught her eating mulch, and other things that were hidden by the grass. My worry is that she will eat something dangerous.


For now, I spend a lot of time outside with her so I can monitor what is going on. My hope is that in time I can relax enough to let her play alone. I know that a lot of these dangers will lessen once we are able to fence the yard in.

Written by Theresa Milner.