Letting your dog spend time in your yard takes work because you have to make sure that they will be safe and that they can’t get out. First and foremost, you must make sure that there are no sharp objects, dangerous pieces of furniture, or dangerous toys in the yard in order to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
There are a few other things that you can do to make your yard safer and more comfortable for your dog overall. No options are particularly hard or expensive to incorporate; it comes down to your preferences and yard design. The following are five ways to dog-proof your yard.
1. Inspect Your Fencing
Your fence may look dog-proof from afar, but pooches are curious and crafty. They may be able to find ways through the fence to escape the yard that you don’t readily see yourself. Therefore, it is a good idea to think like a dog and thoroughly inspect your entire fence line to ensure that it cannot be escaped through. Inspect the ground around the fence to look for places where your dog could dig or where the fence is weak.
Make sure that all the fence posts are stable and don’t sway when they are leaned upon. If there are minimal problems with your fence, you can probably fix it up yourself. Consider placing large rocks in areas where your dog could easily dig under the fence. You can reinforce fence posts by pouring a little ready-mix concrete around the feet of the posts. Weak fencing can be reinforced with new material.
If you aren’t sure whether your fence is dog-proof or if you need help fixing it up, find a fencing contractor who specializes in animal containment to inspect your fence and make upgrades or repairs as necessary. They may be able to recommend upgrades and repairs that you can do on your own to save money on their services.
2. Incorporate Shrubs
Planting shrubs in your yard near the fence line and elsewhere will offer multiple benefits that you and your dog can enjoy for many years to come. First, the shrubs will keep your dog from being able to see out of your fence if it’s transparent. This can help keep them from barking at passersby and animals that might be moving around on the other side of the fence.
Shrubs will also provide your dog with natural shade to enjoy while spending their time outdoors, which is important when it’s hot and sunny. shrubs are edible too, which can provide your family with free food throughout the year. Your pooch can snack on the plants when your family doesn’t. For example, Hawthorn shrubs grow juicy little berries that both humans and dogs can munch on. Other dog-friendly shrubs to consider include:
Choose a couple of different kinds of shrubs for your yard to keep things interesting and to provide different kinds of shade and snacks for the whole family to enjoy.
3. Do Training
If there are areas of your yard where you don’t want your dog to dig in or use the bathroom on, you can spend time on training to manage their behavior. For instance, you can surround a patch of grass or garden area that you don’t want your dog digging in or peeing on with rocks, stepping stones, or decorative rope, and then use treats or a clicker to teach your dog not to go through the barrier.
You should also train your pooch not to climb on the fence, so they will be less likely to learn how to escape as time goes on. Do this just like you would teach them not to climb on a piece of furniture or go into a specific room (like the kitchen) inside your house. Doing basic obedience training in the yard will help exert your dog’s physical and mental energy so they aren’t so rambunctious and destructive while playing free in the yard.
4. Make Comfort a Priority
Your dog probably won’t enjoy spending much of their time outside if they can’t get comfortable when they are ready to rest. Instead of relaxing, they may spend their time whining at the door to come inside, which can be annoying when you want the place to yourself or have company over. In addition to shade from the shrubs, they should have a shaded porch or covered doghouse or bed to enjoy on a hot sunny day. If your yard isn’t grassy, put a piece of artificial grass on the ground for your pooch to roll around on.
5. Make the Space Entertaining
Making your backyard entertaining for your dog will help keep them from trying to escape to the outside world, where they would be in danger. If they get bored, chances are that what’s on the other side of your fence will start to seem pretty interesting to them. Luckily, there are many different things you can do to make your yard space entertaining for your furry family member. These options may be the right fit for your yard and dog.
Let Them Swim
First, consider filling a baby pool up with water on sunny days so they can splash and play in it. If your dog has never swum before, they might be intimidated by all the water. If this is the case but your pooch shows interest in the pool, let them get used to getting inside the pool with no water first. Then start filling the pool a little bit at a time until they don’t mind getting in when it’s full.
Invest in Cool Toys
There are many cool toys meant for outdoor play that are sure to keep your dog entertained while they are spending time in your yard. For example, the Tether Tug will allow your pooch to play tug-of-war anytime they want, without having to recruit another dog or a human family member. The Tether Tug spins 360 degrees to ensure variety at game time, and it is easy to install in the ground.
An AWOOF Snuffle Mat can be filled with treats and put outside so your dog can forage and forget about the areas of the yard that they shouldn’t get into and the fence that is keeping them from getting to the outside world. If there is a large tree in your backyard, you can hang a LOOBANI bungee toy from it for extra fun.
Of course, you should supervise your dog when they are outside, but realistically, they will probably spend some time alone out there. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you turn your backyard into a safe space that your pooch loves to spend time in. Which of the tips outlined here do you think will work the best for your circumstances? Do you have any additional tips to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave us a comment down below.
Featured image credit: strangewriter42, Pixabay