How to Make Your Yard Dog-Friendly

There’s nothing better on a sunny day than spending some time outdoors with your pup! However, before you let your pet roam free in your backyard, you should make sure it’s safe for them to do so. Here are a few simple ways to make your yard dog-friendly:

1. Keep Your Yard Fenced Off

Allowing your dog to run loose in an open yard can be problematic, even if your pet is the most well-behaved on the block. Dogs are easily frightened by loud noises that can send them running. You also want to protect your pet from other animals in the neighborhood, like stray cats or dogs, neighboring pets, and wild animals. So, be sure to fence in your lawn before you let your furry friend play outdoors!

Maintaining your fence and doing regular fence checks is another safety measure for your pet. If an area looks like it may be big enough for your dog to squeeze through, fix it immediately. Other questions you should ask yourself require thinking like your dog: can they jump over it? Can they dig out?

2. Create a Digging Area

Digging is second-nature to all dogs, and without a proper place to dig, your lawn will start to look like it has craters in it! A flower bed or newly planted garden is irresistible. However, you can distract your pup by creating a digging corner with fresh sand or use a child’s sandbox. You can bury treats or toys beneath the sand to encourage your dog to dig there. Be sure to find a cover for this area so local cats and other animals don’t use it to their advantage.

3. Leave Out Plenty of Water

It can be easy for your companion to feel dehydrated during a day of fun in the sun. Be sure to leave out a bowl of water and refill it often. Additionally, you may want to set up a baby pool or sprinkler hose for some extra fun. Many dogs enjoy splashing around in the water, and it will help keep them cool while watering your lawn!

4. Add Some Shade

If your pup is spending a lot of time outside, it’s important for them to have a place to cool off. Make sure you set up a shady spot where your dog can lay down and relax in between playing. This will prevent your pet from overheating. Try setting up a cabana, tent, or a lightweight blanket under a tree.

5. Be Mindful of Toxic Plants

When landscaping your yard, keep your furry loved one in mind. Some plants and trees can be toxic to dogs. 

Avoid putting the following plants in your yard:

  • English Ivy
  • Castor bean or castor oil
  • Mistletoe
  • Autumn crocus
  • Lilly of the valley
  • Foxglove
  • Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
  • Rhubarb
  • Chrysanthemum

Additionally, avoid planting the following trees:

  • Wisteria
  • Azalea
  • Chinaberry tree
  • Rhododendron

You can visit the Pet Poison Helpline for their Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets, and the ASPCA for their extensive list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants.
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