How To Create a Dog-Friendly Backyard
Do you want to give your dog a comfortable, fun backyard to play and run in? If you love your pup and want to provide them with the best possible environment for playing and growing, there are a few things you can do to create a perfectly dog-friendly backyard.
You know by now that dogs love to be outside! You’ll want a yard that can host them in any weather and keep them entertained and well exercised. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Design a Dog Run
A dog run is the perfect way to give your pet their own designated space to run, play, and even poop. All you need is a way to fence your dog in so they don’t escape into your yard.
Designate an area of your yard that’s long enough for your dog to run back and forth. Then, fence it off and provide some kind of flooring, whether you want this to be concrete, mulch, woodchips, or even just your natural grass.
Your pup will love running up and down the dog run and it will be even more fun if you can provide some fun activities for your dog to do. You’ll definitely want to provide food, water, shelter, and toys. You can also design an obstacle course or bury some toys in the dirt to get your dog digging if you want to give them more fun and exciting activities.
Fence the Garden
If you want both a dog and a garden, you may have to take a couple precautions. Dogs tend to enjoy digging, and a garden’s soft dirt may be too much temptation to resist.
To keep your garden safe and to protect your dog from eating plants that are harmful (garlic and onions are bad for dogs, tomato leaves are poisonous, etc.), you’ll want to add in a sturdy fence that can keep your dog and your plants out of danger.
Offer a Sandbox
As mentioned, dogs love digging! If you want to let your pup enjoy a favorite pastime without ruining your yard, offer a sandbox that can be exclusively for digging.
You may want to set this up in a back corner of your yard and make it fun by burying treats or toys for your dog to find. That can help them get used to digging in only one spot so they don’t take their habit around the yard.
Avoid Poisonous Plants
Some popular plants like lilies, daffodils, azaleas (rhododendrons), and elephant ears are toxic to dogs. Try to avoid these plants in favor of safe options like zinnia, sunflowers, tiger lilies, snapdragons, marigolds, etc.
Some vegetables and fruits can also hurt dogs, so be sure and visit the ASPCA for a list of all poisonous plants to avoid. If you do want to plant a poisonous plant, then do it where your dog can’t get to. And watch your dog for signs of poisoning like vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, weakness, glassy eyes, imbalance, etc.
Provide Lots of Shade
Although your dog may not tell you they are hot, they definitely can get overheated on hot sunny days. It’s crucial that you provide lots of shady areas for them to cool down.
If you have trees, those are a great starting spot. Also consider a dog house, covered patio, or other area where your pup can rest in the shade. Choose a place your dog can get to easily when they’re hot–and provide plenty of water in the same space too!
Place a Water Feature
If you like them, water features can be a lot of fun for dogs! They can use a water feature as a place to drink and play cooling games in the hot summer.
Some water features are made just for dogs, such as fountains or pools.
You can always install a pond or fountain of some sort if you prefer. Just make sure it isn’t a drowning hazard for your dog or full of poisonous chemicals.
Choose Dog-Friendly Ground Cover
Some ground cover is more resilient to dogs. It’s no secret that dog urine can damage grass, and some grass prefers less walking and running too. A few good options that will stand up to daily doggie wear and tear include:
- Irish moss
- Creeping thyme
- Silver carpet
- Labrador violet
- Synthetic grass
- A durable grass or grass blend such as Tall Fescue, Buffalo, or Kentucky Bluegrass
Of course, you can also just use an alternative such as gravel, mulch, bark, or stone. There are plenty of ways to keep your yard looking lovely even when you have a dog living in it.
Keep It Clean
Of course, when it comes to providing your dog with a place to play, one of the best things you can do is to keep it clean. Leaving debris or toxins out in the yard can easily lead your dog to suffer illness or injury!
If you don’t want to do the poop scooping yourself, call in a professional pooper scooper team! We would be happy to clean up your dog’s poop to provide a safer, more enjoyable environment for you and your pup. Check out our services to learn more!
Plan Play Time
No matter how nice your yard is, it’s nothing compared to time with you! Your dog needs quality time with you to help them feel fulfilled both emotionally and physically. There’s no exercise as good as running and playing with a loved one!
Plan plenty of time to go outside and play, whether that’s with an obstacle course, a game of fetch or tug-of-war, or just a walk around the block. Your beloved pet will thank you!
So, there you have it. If you follow these steps to keep your yard in good shape as a dog-friendly area, your dog will have a great place to play!