How to Make a Dog-Friendly Backyard
White Picket Fence

How to Make a Dog-Friendly Backyard

If your family includes a dog, it’s important to you to make sure that your canine companion is able to be safe and happy in your home. That desire likely extends to your backyard, as well. No one wants their dog digging holes in the grass or eating their tulips, so it’s a good idea to be sure that you include that in your landscaping plans. Here are some ways to make a dog-friendly backyard:

  • Make sure that your pooch is safely contained
    All sorts of pitfalls await your dog once he’s off the secure turf of your yard. Depending on where you live, he could get hit by a car, find himself in a scuffle with another dog, eat something poisonous, be sprayed by a skunk or even get himself stolen. The best way to prevent these types of things from happening is to make sure he can’t leave the yard without you.

    Chain Link Fence With Lace
    photo by www.ext.homedepot.com

    A chain-link fence will do the job, but if you don’t want to install something so utilitarian, consider privacy fencing or, if your dog is small, even picket fencing. Make sure he can’t get his head caught between the planks, and be sure that it’s tall enough that he can’t just hop right over. Another option is invisible fencing, where your dog wears a collar that will send him an uncomfortable message if he crosses the borders set by you; keep in mind that while this will keep your dog in the yard, it won’t keep intruders and other animals out.
  • Give him something to do
    When dogs are bored, they make their own fun, and often this fun includes incessant barking or digging. Since you most likely don’t want either of these behaviors to become a habit, it’s important to give your dog something with which to occupy himself. One great idea is to put in a pond or other body of water for him to play in.

    Dog in Yard
    photo by list25.com

    You could also set up a plastic kiddie pool if you don’t want to or can’t put in a small pond. Dog toys and balls are great things to have in your yard. Another strategy is, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” If you can, give your furry friend somewhere to dig. Have loose dirt or sand dropped in a corner of your yard and when you see him digging, bring him to that spot in order to train him where it’s okay to dig. Understand your breed of dog to understand what it needs and how you can fulfill that. Read more about your dog breed at dogster.com.
  • Keep your plants pet-friendly
    Dogs sometimes eat things that they shouldn’t, and while many times a bout of stomach upset will be over with in a day, occasionally your canine companion might get into something that’s dangerous enough to make him seriously ill, or worse!

    Dog with Friendly Plants
    photo from www.estelia.com

    You already know not to give Fido chocolate, but did you know that chocolate mulch is toxic, as well, so avoid putting it in your yard. Some plants that are toxic to dogs include holly, American bittersweet, lilies, bird of paradise plants, daffodils, daisies and mums. Check the toxicity of any plants that you have that are accessible to your dog.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can create a dog-friendly landscape that will be a great place for your pet to hang out, as well as an attractive area for humans to enjoy.

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