Becoming a pet parent is a big decision and when you take on a new dog, whether a puppy or an adult, you've got to ensure your house and yard are ready. Ensuring the dog is safe inside the home and keeping harmful products out of reach is a great start, but what about when your dog is playing outside? Have you dog-proofed your backyard yet? If not, these tips will show you how to dog-proof your yard to keep your furry friend safe and happy.

PROPER FENCING

Dogs are naturally curious creatures. Some are a little more rambunctious than others and can easily defeat an average fence. The existence of a fence is not enough. Dogs that can get out, often will, just to explore their surroundings. If you live on busy streets or a big highway, this notion can be very dangerous. You must match your fencing to meet your dog's safety needs. Naturally, larger dogs require larger and stronger fencing systems, and even after the fence is in place, it's vital to keep an eye on your dog. Dogs will look for weak spots and as they find them, they need to be addressed and repaired to keep your dog contained in your yard. Also, include ample fencing around pools.

SECURE TRASH CANS & OTHER CONTAINERS

Your dog has an amazing sense of smell. Dogs are natural hunters and will seek out interesting smells. Unfortunately, those scents can often lead dogs into the trash can. Trash cans can be a beacon of light for a bored dog, and not only will you have a mess to clean, but your dog can potentially eat something hazardous. Even if you have not thrown anything away that is harmful to humans, food waste including chocolate, onions, garlic, and mushrooms can be harmful to your dog. Always secure trash cans and any other containers your dog might encounter in the yard. Also, be sure to use tight-fitting lids.

KEEP THE LAWN MANICURED

Lawn maintenance is essential during most warm months of the year when grass thrives. Not only will it keep neighborhood complaints down and maintain your curb appeal, but also benefit the dog. Fleas, ticks, and other pests thrive in long grass and weeds. Maintaining your lawn can cut down on the amount of fleas and parasites your dog may encounter as they romp around through the yard.

Additionally, clean in and around any sheds and structures within the space. Pests love dark, damp areas, and keeping them clean will cut down on fleas and ticks as well.

AMPLE WATER AND SHADE

a dog laying on a blue Gen7Pets Cool-Air Cot Elevated Dog Bed

Leaving your dog outside for extended periods while you're away should be avoided if possible. Dogs should only be left outside for short periods and monitored so they do not become overheated. Always provide an area where your dog can escape the sunshine and cool off in the shade. If you have a covered patio or shaded spot in your yard, consider getting your dog an elevated bed to cool off in. Elevated pet beds like the Gen7Pets Cool Air Cot (shown to the right) are raised beds that sit up a few inches off the ground. This design allows air to flow freely both under and over your dog, helping keep your dog cool on warmer days.

Also, maintain ample water in multiple locations throughout your yard. A small kiddie pool is a great idea for larger dogs. They can soak in the pool to cool off from the heat and it is more difficult to knock the water out of the pool than a standard water bowl.

PLANT CONSIDERATIONS

As stated previously, dogs are curious and are attracted to interesting scents. Flowers and other vegetation can be very inviting to a dog experiencing a little boredom in the backyard. Not all vegetation is harmless. Azaleas, Amaryllis, Daffodils, and Tulips are just a few of the possible dangerous plants that could be lurking in your yard waiting for your dog to get curious and then take a bite. When choosing flower beds or other plants for your yard, be sure to ask your veterinarian for suggestions on which types of plants to avoid.

ADD SOME FUN

Sometimes, the backyard is considered the dog's own dedicated space. If you have a dog that enjoys spending time outside, add some fun in random spots around your yard to keep it fun and interesting for your dog. If your dog is a chewer and likes to pass the time chewing on things, check out Bark Bone Natural Instincts Nylon Bones (shown below). Bark Bone Natural Instincts makes a variety of flavorful nylon bones made with 100%, FDA-compliant nylon. 

a dog chewing on a Pet Qwerks Nylon bone

 

If your dog is a thinker and needs more of a challenge to keep them entertained, consider a JW Twist-In Treats Dog Toy (shown below). This dog toy is designed to give your dog a challenge and make them work for the treat that's screwed into the center of the toy. The further you twist the treat in, the more of a challenge it is for your dog to get out.

a dog laying on a patio playing with a JW Twist-In Treats Dog Toy

 

CONCLUSION

As pet parents, there's a lot to consider when it comes to keeping your dog healthy and safe. When you bring a dog home, you are responsible for that dog both inside and outside the home. Dogs are smart, certainly, but can still find themselves in troubling circumstances, especially if left to roam the yard without any supervision. While the yard can be a dangerous place for your pet, following these tips helps to ensure your yard is safe, enjoyable, and dog-proofed.

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