How to Create a Dog Friendly Backyard

A dog running with a stick in its mouth

A backyard is a great place for both you and your dog to enjoy the outdoors, especially during the warmer months of the year. While you may pride yourself in your gardening and landscaping skills, dogs typically view backyards as giant playgrounds, with little regard for flowerbeds and lawns.

Here are some tips on how to create a dog friendly backyard that will keep your yard looking great and your pup safe and happy.

Keep your area fenced

Keeping your backyard fenced in is a great first step to creating a dog friendly backyard and ensuring that your dog is safe during his time outside. Make sure your fence is:

  • Tall enough for your dog. Some larger breeds of dogs need considerably higher fences, especially if they are energetic and like to jump around.
  • Free of gaps. It’s important to make sure that there are no holes or gaps in your fencing for your dog to sneak through.
  • Sturdy. Make sure your fence is sturdy enough so that any potential digging or jumping near the fence won’t cause it to topple over.

Provide shade and shelter

Dogs love to spend time sunbathing, but it’s important that you provide them with shade and shelter so that they don’t overheat. While you can provide your dog with a dog house, you can also plant tall trees and bushes to give him some shade when he’s done playing. Always make sure to keep fresh water available for your dog as well.

Plant a dog friendly garden

You may find that the first place your dog rushes for outside are your flowerbeds. If you tend to your garden regularly, it may be a good idea to fence off your plants to keep them out of your pup’s reach. It’s also a good idea to avoid planting plants that are poisonous to dogs. If your dog does consume a poisonous plant, make sure to take him to the veterinarian, and bring the plant with you if possible.

Some common plants to avoid include:

  • Lily
  • Azalea
  • Daffodil
  • Tomato
  • Foxglove
  • Yew
  • Hydrangea

Finally, choose your lawn care products with caution. Some fertilizers, pest repellents and weed blockers can be dangerous to animals. Always make sure to read the label of the product before using it on your outdoor space. 

Fun Backyard Play Ideas for Dogs

Backyards are a great way to give your dog the exercise he needs. Here are some fun ideas to keep your dog entertained.

  • Play Area. A bored and unexercised dog is more likely to go looking for trouble. Clearing out a space in your yard large enough for your dog to run and chase will burn off extra energy and keep your dog happy and entertained.
  • Sand Box for Dogs. A great idea to keep your dog occupied while keeping your plants and grass intact is to install a sandbox. Place the sandbox is an unused corner of your backyard and fill it with sand or mulch. Bury some of his toys in the sandbox and let him dig away!
  • Doggie Splash Pad. If your dog loves water, a simple inflatable pool is a great way to keep your dog busy for hours. Throw some of his toys in the water and have him splash around. You can also get sprinkler attachments for your hose for your dog to run through and keep cool.

We hope that these tips help you get started on creating a dog friendly backyard and having fun with your dog in your outdoor space!

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