You love your dog and you want him or her to be happy, safe, and healthy. Having a backyard is a great way to keep your dog exercised and entertained, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the proper steps in terms of your dog’s well-being. As a result, “dogscaping” is quickly becoming a popular movement among dog lovers with backyards. Essentially, this process turns your landscape into a dog-friendly oasis. Best of all, this can be done through a series of simple changes to your yard or by completely redoing it! For National Dog Day, we’ve compiled a list of ideas to get you started on creating a tag-waggingly fun dog-friendly backyard.
When designing your landscape, the first thing to consider is safety. Keeping your dog safe in your yard is your top priority. There are many dangers a dog can face in a backyard, but there are many ways to reduce or even completely eliminate these risks.
- A fence is absolutely necessary to keep your dog safe. It keeps him from getting out of the yard and keeps other dogs from getting in. If your dog is a jumper, make sure you get a tall enough fence that your dog can’t jump over. If he’s a climber, stay away from chain link fencing as most dogs can easily teach themselves how to climb it.
- Always make to avoid putting toxic plants in your backyard. There are many different types of flowers, plants, and trees that are toxic to dogs, so always double check before you plant. The ASPCA has a great list of what is toxic to animals and what is not.
- Every dog needs easy access to fresh, clean water. In the backyard you can go beyond the plain water bowl and use a gorgeous water feature or a simple paw-powered water fountain that hooks up to your garden hose. However you choose to give your dog water, always make sure it is safe to drink.
- Even dogs can get sunstroke and sunburn. When designing your backyard, make sure to create a shady area your dog can go to when he gets too hot. If you have a backyard that’s mostly sand or dirt, consider getting a dog hammock under a shady tree so your pup can be comfortable without getting dirty. Or put a patio cover over a big, flat rock so your dog has a cool look-out post where he can easily keep an eye on the backyard.
You have a backyard so your dog can run around and play with you while getting exercise and enjoying nature. Why not make your backyard even more fun and dog-friendly with these creative and interactive ideas?
- If your dog is a digger, you probably find yourself filling in more holes than you’d like. While it’s possible to train a dog to stop digging completely, it’s generally easier for both you and your dog if you simply redirect her digging addiction. You can create a digging area for your dog, much like a sandbox for children. Mark off the area with a short fence or simply some wood logs and fill it with sand. Your dog is either digging to get to the cool earth or because she’s bored. Either way, creating a safe place for her to dig is a great way to keep your backyard looking great and keeping your dog happy at the same time.
- When your dog gets bored, she gets into trouble. Whether that means destroying your shoes or becoming an escape artist, you need to keep your dog entertained and exercised. A fun and exciting way to do that is to set up a doggie playground or agility course. You can use just about anything to make a playground for your pooch. Use old tires to make climbing equipment, PVC pipes for a homemade agility weave, or scrap wood for a ramp. Use whatever you have and get your dog moving. You’ll be surprised how calm she is after a little time learning the course.
- To keep your dog happy, make sure there are toys in the backyard for her to play with. A great way to keep your dog entertained is with a Tether Tug, a squeaker toy, or a treat-filled toy. Always supervise your dog when playing with toys to make sure she doesn’t accidentally swallow a chewed off piece. Most dogs, however, prefer to play with you. Have fun with your furry friend in your dog-friendly backyard!