No matter how great your home is, your dog is bound to love your backyard more. That’s where it can run free, play fetch, find shelter from the sun and enjoy the company of people and other dogs perhaps. Still, in order to make your backyard perfect for your four-legged friend, you have to make it safe and dog-friendly, which requires certain steps to be taken.
While safety is the primary concern, you should also think about designing your backyard so that it provides a comfortable and fun environment for your dog. That’s why we’ve prepared the following tips for every dog-owner who has a backyard, but is not sure how to make it safe and dog-friendly.
It’s important to have an efficient fence if you have a dog. Dogs are social beings, who love interacting with humans and other animals, and they might be tempted to leave your backyard in search for entertainment. Being curious by nature, they often actively try to find ways to get out of the backyard. So, your fence should be an insurmountable obstacle for them.
Block all possible escape routes by covering the inside of the fence with a smooth surface, such as plywood to prevent your dog from climbing over the fence. You might even add an extension that tilts inward at an angle to the top of the fence. Also, bury chicken wire under the fence or put large rocks along the bottom edge to dissuade your dog from digging its way out.
Needless to say, if there are any holes in the fence, make sure you repair them and be especially careful when it comes to the gate, since dogs often try to dig their way out where the fence meets the gate. Some dogs even learn how to open a gate, install a self-closing system that automatically shuts the gate when someone goes in or out.
Believe it or not, the inside of the yard can be as dangerous as the road in front of the house. Some dogs like to chew on plants, which can lead to serious health issues, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, depression, burning of the mouth or even death. That’s why you should remove all plants that can be potentially dangerous, such as azaleas, lilies, daffodils, elephant ears or sago palms.
Ticks and fleas
Dogs often have problems with insects that attack them. If you keep your grass trimmed, the chances of finding a tick or flea on your dog are much lower, but you should also use natural repellents in the yard to keep these dangerous creatures at bay.
Though your dog might enjoy running around the lawn, it is also a good idea to have a segment of your yard covered with decorative concrete, which is not only pleasing to the eye, but also easy to maintain. What’s even more important, ticks don’t live on concrete.
Make it fun
Once you’ve made your backyard safe, you can move on to making it fun for your dog. The more fun your dog can have in the yard, the less likely it will be to try to escape. So, take some of its favourite toys out, provide access to clean, fresh water at all times (especially in the summer), help them find a shelter from the sun and rain without having to get inside the house.
A backyard pond is another great idea, since your dog can take a cooling dip in it, but the pond has to be shallow and easily accessible. Paths are another option, which will both make your yard look nicer and add to your dog’s enjoyment. Simple grass with border can allow guarding dogs to patrol the perimeter, or herding breeds to move in circles. You can also cover the path with mulch, wood chips or rock.
If you follow these tips and make your backyard both safe and fun for your dog, it won’t feel tempted to escape that much and it’ll be able to have some great time in the yard. That means you could even leave it in the yard while you run some errands, without fearing what your dog might be up to. So, a dog-friendly backyard is a win-win solution for both you and your dog.