The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Dog-Friendly Backyard!
11 September, 2017
Guest blog by: Sandie Muncaster
So you just got a dog, and you’re probably excited about everything this little (or big) furry bundle will bring to your life. But amidst all the fun have you considered how your backyard measures up for your canine companion?
Most of us figure if he can’t escape, it’s good to go. However, there’s so much more we as pet parents can do for our dogs and our backyards.
In this post, we will give you the ultimate guide to creating a dog-friendly backyard.
You can have the most beautiful backyard, but if Fido can escape, there’s not much point to it all. To keep your dog safe and sound inside your yard’s parameters there are many options.
- Invisible fencing – this requires your dog to wear an electronic collar that will give him a warning when he’s approaching the boundary marker.
- Wooden – these are the traditional way to enclose a backyard and are usually effective – just make sure Fido can’t dig under or jump over it. If your dog isn’t a barker, you can add a viewing bubble so he can see outside his four walls.
- Chain-link – effective, but not the most attractive alternative.
- Natural greenery – thick shrubs such as Cedar or thorny rose bushes are both beautiful and an effective way to keep your pooch in his territory.
These can all be easily hosed down and may just prevent your pup from relieving himself on your summer blooms or children’s play toys.
Another alternative is to use a large tarp or Shade Sail to create a relief area.
Creating some doggy paths around your yard is not only a practical way to keep your dog entertained, but it adds a stylish flair to your entire property.
However, be aware of the types of materials you choose for your paths – you will want it to be easy on your dog’s paws.
Pet-friendly materials such as smooth stones, pebbles, flagstone, concrete, and brick won’t harm your dog and look beautiful to boot. You may also opt for a mulching material, just be sure that it isn’t cocoa mulch which, like chocolate, will contain theobromine which is toxic to dogs if ingested.
Adding a water feature to your yard brings it to a whole new level of elegance, plus, your pooch will love it!
Another way is to build a pond, but keep in mind that it can be dangerous for small dogs if they fall into it. Be sure to slope the sides so your pet can easily get out.
Another super easy way to provide your dog with some cool water is a kiddie pool. These can be filled up and emptied when needed and are easy to clean and maintain.
Whatever method you choose to use, be sure the water is clean and edible.
Some breeds of dogs love to dig, so why not give ’em his very own sandbox? These are the same as a children’s sandbox and can be designed and built to your pup’s own needs.
Once it’s done, watch your dog have hours of digging fun, without destroying your lawn or flower garden.
Keep Out the Toxins
These include mums, azaleas, lilies, carnations and aloe vera (to name a few). If you have these plants in your backyard, it is highly recommended to remove them or at least, fence them off, so Fido doesn’t have access to them.
Many baits such as those made for snails, rats, and other garden pests can be toxic to pets. Use these with caution and never where your dog can reach them.
Tunnel & Obstacle Fun
Keeping your dog entertained while he’s outdoors will both physically and mentally stimulate him which can prevent your dog from becoming bored and destructive.
If You Build It, They Will Play
Like children, dogs need to have something to do each day. If you build a dog-friendly backyard, they will play and be happier and healthier for it. Try some or all of these suggestions to give your pooch the dream yard he has always wanted.
Sandie Muncaster has been writing for 26 plus years and loves to help educate pet parents in a fun and engaging manner. She is currently a regular contributor for ThePetGod.com when she’s not pet-parenting her three fun rescue felines.