Three Ways Your Backyard Can Hurt Your Dog

Published Thursday, July 18, 2024

Every dog owner wants the best for their dog. But many people are unaware of the dangers their backyard can pose to dogs.

And we’re not even talking about “country” backyards – these dangers can exist even in the smallest suburban backyards.

If you own a dog, here are three backyard dangers you should be aware of:

Toxic Flowers and Plants

You know those pretty Azaleas you bought from the local big box store? They are toxic to your dog, and could blind or even kill your beloved pet. Other “common yet toxic” plants include daffodils, tulips, milkweed, rhododendron, and others.

We’re not saying you can’t enjoy these beautiful plants. Just keep them away from where your dog has access. Those tulips look great in the front yard, but not so much in Fido’s area.


Wild mushrooms are quite common in yards all over the world. And while most won’t hurt your dog, there are a few that will.

According to the North American Mycological Association (NAMA), dogs are typically drawn to two poisonous backyard mushrooms (they like the “fishy” odor): Amanita phalloides (Death Caps) and Inocybe.

Pictures below (Death Caps are on the left).

Snakes and Birds of Prey

Copperheads in the east, coral snakes in the south, and rattlesnakes everywhere… those are the snakes to worry about.

Generally, you need to have habitats for them to venture into your yard. Things like woodpiles, under a shed, under stairs or a porch… places like that. If you have those, check them frequently and keep them clean to discourage any poisonous snakes setting up a home.

Hawks, Owls and other birds of prey can be an issue with smaller / toy dogs. Any dog under 20 lbs. is at risk of being attacked and taken (larger dogs can be attacked too, but it’s unlikely the bird will be able to snatch them).

The solution here is to not let your smaller dog outside alone. And even if you are with them, a leash is a good idea.