Creating a backyard oasis that you and your dog can safely enjoy can be a bit challenging. But, as long as you consider your dog’s personality, instincts, habits, and health, the task won’t be much of a burden. With a little planning, you can create a dog-friendly backyard that you both will love to be in together.
1. Make sure to fence the yard. Because not much is more fun for your pooch than to run and play freely, ensure that you keep him safe by putting up a fence around the yard. Make it tall enough to keep him from jumping over it. Check that your dog cannot also dig under the fence to escape.
2. Provide him a shady spot to escape the heat. If you and your pet like to hang out in the backyard for a long time during spring or summer, make certain that there is somewhere your pup can get away from the burning hot rays of the sun. Find an area under a tree, some bushes, a patio, or any other structure. Although a dog house can give some relief from the warm weather, it can get rather hot inside so look for a structure that is well ventilated and consider adding a self-cooling pad to provide additional cool comfort.
3. Watch out for items that may endanger your dog. Fill in holes where your pooch may trip and harm himself. Patrol your yard on a regular basis to look for anything that your dog might accidentally chew on or ingest such as rocks, trash, sticks or anything else that he might try to eat.
4. Remove hazardous plants in the yard or refrain from planting them. Ask your veterinarian or search for a list of poisonous plants that can make your dog ill or die if ingested. Some of the most common poisonous plants include the Sago Palm, Oleander, Daffodil, Azalea, Aloe Vera, Begonias, Carnations, Ivy, and Poinsettia. Double check that every plant within your dog’s reach is safe. Even if your dog doesn’t ingest plants, some are dangerous to the touch.
5. Provide shelter from the elements. Keeping your pooch outside for long periods of time during hot, cold, or rainy days is not recommended. For the times when he needs to get out to exercise, make sure to provide him with shelter. Most importantly, think of your dog as an extension of your dear family. If the weather isn’t comfortable for you, it’s likely to not be comfortable for your four-legged family either.
6. Keep some fun toys in the yard. For highly energetic dogs, toys like tennis balls and Frisbees are ideal. If you have the luxury of space, set up a backyard agility course for him and enjoy some time together practicing the exciting (and healthy!) sport. For pets that are happily contented lying in the sun, a big chew bone may suffice. If your dog likes the water, providing him a pet or kiddie pool will be great fun!
7. Keep a bowl of clean, fresh water nearby. Always remember to change your dog’s water every day. Keep it close to him while outside. Playful dogs can easily and quickly become overheated and dehydrated even when the weather is cool.
8. Enjoy the yard with your pooch. As much as your pet may love his toys, he will surely appreciate your company even more. Spending some time with your dog outside will keep him from exhibiting inappropriate behaviors like barking or digging. Your presence will also guarantee his safety if he manages to create or find a hole in the fence or should your gate be left open accidentally.