What dog wouldn’t love to live in the country where there’s wide open spaces to explore, plenty of room to run, critters to chase and ponds to cool off in? We have a tendency to think of city life as more cramped, but there are good things and bad things about living in the city or country. Whether one or the other is a healthier lifestyle for a dog depends more on his owner than where he lives.
When I was a kid, my family lived in the country. My dog Trixie and I explored every country mile we could find. Well, at least the ones that were within the distance I was allowed from home on my own. Trixie, being a farm dog, would roam on her own at times, and brought back some interesting “trophies” from her travels around the farm. One time she trotted up to show off the snake she’d just caught. Thankfully, it was just a garter snake.
As far as I was concerned, life on the farm was perfect, but there were hazards we had to contend with. There was always a chance of meeting wild animals, especially around sunset or sunrise, and there were stray nails that I always seemed to find – with my foot. I had to look out for puddles of oil or antifreeze that leaked out from vehicles, things Trixie found to eat that she shouldn’t, or getting scratched by a rusty wire sticking out, just to name a few dangers. However, when we moved into town, some of the same hazards were also present, especially my ability to find stray nails the hard way.
According to veterinarian and founder of Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Duffy Jones, country life gives dogs a higher risk of getting injured. More farm dogs are allowed to roam unsupervised which means they can encounter more falls, run ins with wild animals, being hit by a car or some other type of farm equipment, or being infected with worms from eating things they shouldn’t. Ticks are also a bigger concern for dogs living in the country. Deer ticks are a danger to us as well as our pets, and wherever you find deer, there is an increased chance of finding a deer tick on your dog.