7 Ways to Create a Dog-Friendly Backyard

If you are a dog owner, you understand how valuable a yard is. But simply having a yard for your dog to run in and do their business is not enough. There are quite a few factors to consider in order to make your yard truly dog-friendly.

Below are some excellent suggestions for creating a yard that is sure to make your pup’s tail wag.

1. Fence

When creating a dog-friendly backyard, you need to install some fencing first and foremost. Not only will a fence help ensure your buddy doesn’t run off, but it will keep him safe from other animals and may even protect him from being dog-napped.

There are plenty of options on the market for traditional types of fencing, such as chain link, vinyl, and wood. Other options include underground electric fencing or wireless fencing.

When choosing the right fence for your yard and your dog, here are a few things to consider:

Proper Height– While a three-foot picket fence might work for a Pomeranian, it likely won’t keep a Great Dane in the yard. So, when choosing your fence, install one that is the proper height for your dog.

Small Window– If you opt for a privacy fence, such as vinyl or wood, consider installing a small doggy window. A window for your pooch will allow him to look out and see what’s happening around him, which may ease some boredom and anxiety.

Pet Area– If you have a small backyard, your entire yard should be fenced to give your dog enough space to run and play. If you have a large backyard, you may choose to fence only part of the yard.

If you fence the whole yard, you may want to have a separate dog run- a fenced-off area specifically for your furry friend. Having a separate space for your dog to run and play will help keep the rest of your yard in good shape.

Garden Area– To protect your vegetables or favorite flowers, install a fence to create a barrier around your garden.

2. Ground Cover

The most common ground cover Americans use for their landscaping is grass. Nothing quite beats the beauty and comfort of a nice lawn. However, if you have a dog, you know your beautiful green lawn can quickly become spotted with unsightly brown spots where your dog does his business.

You’ll need to consider your options in order to keep your lawn looking its best while also being dog-friendly.

  • Hardy Grass– If you are set on having a grass lawn, you’ll want to choose a hardy type of grass, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermudagrass, or Buffalograss.
  • Grass Alternatives– You can opt for pet-friendly ground cover plants, such as creeping thyme, Irish moss, or clover, for a living alternative to a typical grass lawn.
  • Non-Living Ground Cover– To help conserve water and keep your yard fit for your pup, you could consider a non-living option. Some popular non-living ground cover options include soft stones, wood chips, artificial turf, and mulch. Never use cocoa mulch, as it is toxic to dogs.
  • Designated Potty Spot– Another option for keeping a pristine, green lawn is to have a designated potty spot. Training your dog to only use a specific area of your yard to do their business will keep the rest of your yard looking fantastic.

3. Plants

Plants are a lovely addition to any yard. Not only do they look nice, but they also improve the air quality around you. The only downside is that some plants can be toxic to your pets if ingested.

When planning out your landscaping, ensure all of the plants are safe for your pets because, as we all know, pets have a mind of their own and will often nibble on things they aren’t supposed to.

If fleas or mosquitos are a problem in your area, some plants can help repel these pests.

When fertilizing your lawn or the plants in your yard, be sure to follow the directions on the label correctly, including keeping your pets off the area for the designated amount of time. Better yet, only use products that are safe for pets.

4. Spot For Digging

Some dogs are just born to dig. Keep your lawn, garden, and other yard areas safe by creating a designated digging area, such as a sandbox or a dirt pit. Your dog will love being able to bury his bone or dig a cool pit to lay in.

5. Dog Path

Dogs are territorial by nature, so it’s no wonder that most dog yards have a well-worn path around the yard’s perimeter, as the pup “patrols” his turf.

This unsightly path doesn’t have to be such an eyesore. Instead, create a path for your dog out of something a little more durable. Some suitable materials for your dog’s path include pavers, smooth rocks, or mulch.

6. Water Features

If your dog enjoys splashing in the water, adding a water feature to your yard is a must. Your dog will love having a place to cool down on a hot summer’s day. Some fun dog-friendly water features include:

  • Hard Plastic Kiddie Pool
  • Pond
  • Fountain
  • Stream
  • Paw Washing Station- If you have dirt, mud, or sand in your yard, install a paw washing station near your back door so the muddy paw prints stay outside and not all over your house.

In addition to these water features, always have fresh water readily available and easily accessible for your pet.

7. Shelter

A shelter is a must in any yard where a dog will spend an extended amount of time. Having a shaded area for your dog to escape the heat of the sun or a covered spot to escape the rain is absolutely essential.

Plan for at least one or more trees in your yard and plenty of pet-friendly shrubs. Along with plants, you should also have a man-made shelter. This may be as simple as a dog house where your best friend can completely escape the elements and feel secure.

Even better is installing one of the following patio coverings. Keep your dog’s food, water, and house underneath it.

Give your dog a yard to run around and do their business as well as to play, explore, and relax. By following the above suggestions, you can do all of this and ensure that your yard is a safe place for a man’s best friend to hang out.

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