Whether you’re welcoming home a new dog, or just want to ensure that your backyard is totally safe for your current pet at all times, it doesn’t have to be too difficult to make a perfect backyard paradise. Want to take your outdoor space from okay to oasis? Follow these simple tips below:
1. Install a dog-friendly fence
A fence doesn’t just keep your dog from getting out and exploring your neighborhood unsupervised. It needs to keep them safe, too.
Make sure that the fence is too high for your pup to jump and doesn’t have any areas where they could think about wriggling through.
On top of this, you need to make sure that the fence doesn’t have any barbed or sharp areas where a dog could potentially get a nasty cut. If they happen to catch themselves on the fence while they are running around, it could cause a very unpleasant injury.
In hot areas, try to get a fence with materials that won’t absorb heat. You may want to avoid certain types of metal as they could be a hazard for your dog if they lean against a hot gate or fence. Wooden fences are typically a better alternative.
2. Consider dog-friendly ground cover
Pet-friendly ground covering can be one of the most important facets of your backyard. A paved area that has somewhere for your dog to walk can help them to keep their claws trimmed naturally, for instance.
On top of this, a lot of people don’t realize that there are benefits to artificial grass for dogs as well. Most of it is totally pet friendly and actually drains away as well (or better) than grass. This means that you don’t have to worry so much about allergies or grass seeds that can get stuck in your pet’s paws.
And for pet parents living in apartment complexes with limited access to outdoor space, artificial turf can be a great alternative and can turn a few feet of cement into a dog-friendly spot.
3. Install a water feature
Many dogs love to play with water, and outdoor water features can be one of the best ways to ensure that they stay entertained.
In hot climates, pet parents may rely on safely constructed water features (like ponds or pools) to help their dogs to cool down. Since dogs don’t sweat in the same way that humans do, they may struggle in warmer temperatures. A cool water feature that they can interact with is both aesthetic and functional.
4. Choose pet-safe flowers and plants
Many pet parents assume that because a flower or a plant is suitable for humans to be near that it will have no impact on their dogs. Unfortunately, as gorgeous as they are many flowers are toxic to dogs. Azaleas and daffodil bulbs are fine for humans to be around but can cause allergies in your dog. Pollen can also trigger itching in pups.
5. Fertilize your lawn carefully
When you buy any sort of fertilizer, make sure it is pet friendly and doesn’t leave anything hazardous on the grass. Even if you are using natural fertilizers, it can be good to keep your dog away from them for a while so they don’t get tempted to eat them. Pet-safe alternatives to lawn feed are a must for protecting your dog and keeping your backyard pet friendly.
6. Provide a shelter
It’s not healthy for dogs to be exposed to weather conditions, especially if they are extreme. A shelter can help dogs to avoid the rain or getting too cold when the weather gets worse, and can also be very helpful for giving dogs a shaded area.
Without some sort of shade or shelter, a dog can spend far too long out in the sunshine and this can cause significant health risks just like with humans. You wouldn’t let your child spend hours out in the sun without protection, so don’t allow your dog to, either.
While we believe dogs should be indoors with the family for most of their lives there are many tips to build a shelter for your pet to temporarily retreat to while they're in the yard.
7. Create a digging area
Does your dog love to dig? Sometimes you may just have to admit defeat and let them do it rather than try to stop it. Why not create a specific area you know is safe for them to dig within? Think of it as a sandbox for dogs. You can outline the parameters, fill the soil yourself so you know there aren’t any nasty surprises, and pack it full of things like dog toys that they can find while they’re digging. If you reward them for digging there and only there, you can avoid them damaging the places you want to protect.
Jennifer Williams is a PR & Communications specialist working with Festivalturf.com to create content that would help its customers understand the company's mission and products. Jennifer is a DIY enthusiast settled in Las Vegas with her 2 dogs. In her free time, you can find her working out in a gym, reading a book, or browsing Reddit’s /aww subreddit for cute pet photos.