How to Create a Dog-Friendly Yard
With spring quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you can create a dog-friendly yard.
You want your dog to enjoy your backyard as much as you do, but you also don’t want your four-legged friend to get hurt or hurt your yard.
That’s why it is important to consider your yard from your dog’s eyes. Which things are in his eye line and call for his attention? Which items will he want to play with that he shouldn’t?
Once you’ve gotten into your dog’s mind, it’ll be easier to create a fun and safe dog-friendly yard.
Fence It and Maintain It
As much as your dog wants the freedom to roam and play to his heart’s content, fences provide safe boundaries. They also keep your dog out of your neighbor’s yard.
However, you can’t just put up any old fence. It would help if you chose a fence with your dog in mind. For example, if your dog is a climber, a chain-link fence won’t work. On the other hand, if your dog is a jumper, you’ll need a fence high enough to prevent him from jumping into someone else’s yard.
Once you have a fence, you also have to maintain it. For example, has the weather left gaps in the fencing your pup can squeeze through, or has the ground under the fence left space to crawl under?
Provide Plenty of Shade
If it is too hot outside for you, it is too hot outside for your dog. Keep this rule in mind when you are designing your dog-friendly yard. Just like you, your dog will need shade from the heat and sun.
If your yard doesn’t have natural shading (i.e., trees), add some with umbrellas or patio shades. Dog houses may seem like a good option, but they actually trap the heat inside. It’s wiser to have outdoor spaces with shade.
[Related Read: How to Cool Down a Dog – 10 Ways to Help Dogs Beat the Heat]
Set Up a Water Station
Dogs need to stay hydrated – especially on hot days. One way to achieve this is to set up a water station or a space where your dog can drink water whenever she is outside. However, it is crucial to provide your dog with fresh water each day rather than allowing your dog to drink from a bowl of old, hot, bacteria-filled water.
Consider the Ground Cover
The type of ground cover also makes a big difference in your dog’s happiness – and your own. For instance, if you have a yard without anything covering the dirt, your dog will be dirty and will track the dirt through your home. Therefore, it is far better to cover the ground with grass, stones, mulch, or artificial turf.
Scoop the Poop
According to Live Science, “America’s 83 million pet dogs produce some 10.6 million tons of poop every year.” Here’s where it gets even worse – “A single gram [of poop] contains an estimated 23 million bacteria.”
This bacteria is unsafe for humans, yards, and dogs! Rather than letting it pile up and become a safety hazard, sign up for weekly pooper scooper service. This is key to creating a human-friendly and dog-friendly yard.
[Related Read: The Serious Dangers of Dog Poop]
Be Aware of Dangers
Unfortunately, there are many potential dangers in yards for dogs, including everything from pests to plants.
When it comes to landscaping, pay attention to the type of mulch, fertilizer, and plants you use. The following are unsafe for dogs:
- Cocoa bean mulch
- Peonies, Carnations, Daisies, and Daffodil bulbs
- Insecticides and snail bait
- Predators (such as snakes and hawks)
- Fleas and ticks
You should also check out ASPCA’s Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List for Dogs.
Make Your Yard Fun for Dogs
When creating your dog-friendly yard, safety comes first. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect fun! So here are some ideas to make your yard a playground for your four-legged family member.
- Provide Space to Dig: If you have a digger, give him a space to dig, so he doesn’t destroy your landscaping. Consider sandboxes or sections of the yard designed just for him to dig.
- Let Them Get Wet: Add a water feature your dog can enjoy or even just sit out a kiddie pool.
- Add Peek Holes: Part of the reason dogs jump fences is that they are curious about what’s happening on the other side. Avoid this issue by adding peek holes or doggie windows to your fencing.
- Design a Doggy Playground: Dog-friendly playground equipment, such as tunnels, ramps, and jumping rails, is an excellent way for your dog to run off some energy and have fun.