A dog friendly backyard makeover can help you to create a haven for your pooch. With a few supplies from your local garden center, a little bit of planning, and following a few simple tips, you will be on your way to creating a one-of-a-kind oasis for your pup.
A dog friendly backyard makeover can be a great way to more efficiently share your backyard with your dog. Thoughtful landscape design that puts your pup’s needs in the plan is a great place to start. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know to get started and some helpful tips to get you through the process.
You may not realize it but there are some dangers lurking in your backyard that can hurt your dog. A dog friendly backyard makeover should start with an audit of your backyard to remove any potential risks.
Let us start with the most obvious threats to your fur buddy. Anything that poses a poisoning risk should be removed. For example, lawn care chemicals left unattended is a no-no. Put any fertilizers, herbicides, bug killers, and other chemicals out of your pooches’ reach. Ideally, you can store these chemicals in a shed or a garage that your dog does not have access to.
There is an extensive list of plants that can be poisonous to dogs. The ASPCA provides a list of dangerous plants that you should check out. If your yard has any of these plants, remove them. Use the list as a guideline for what you can plant in your dog friendly backyard makeover.
Consider contacting a tree care services company to remove any limbs (widow makers) that create a risk for your pup. Falling tree limbs are also a danger to anyone that is using your yard. A tree company can quickly take care of the problem.
Living In Peace With Your Pup
If your pup simply adores digging in your garden, rest assured that you are not the first (nor the last) pet parent that is frustrated on a regular. Take control of the problem by changing how you garden. Raised beds hold a lot less interest for dogs. A simple raised bed can save you some stress and keep your garden safe from an overzealous digger.
Speaking of diggers, do you have a pup that simply loves the idea of digging under the fence for little escapades where the grass may be greener? There are a couple of easy fixes for the problem.
- Line the bottom of the fence with decorative rock (think large rocks).
- Bury some chicken wire under the fence. Attach the chicken wire to the bottom of the fence then dig it in.
- Secure two by fours to the bottom of the fence.
Stopping a digger can be difficult even with the best training. Your best bet for your dog’s safety and your sanity is to create a barrier, a dig proof barrier.
It can be tough to fight your dogs natural instinct. Sometimes it is just better to make it impossible for them to carry out their natural instinct instead of trying to change the behavior. Of course, if you can’t beat em, join em attitude might work out well for you.
Setting up a “dig zone” can help your dog to get rid of all that digging energy in a safe space away from the fence, the garden, and other areas of your backyard. Building a doggie sandbox and training your dog to do all their digging in that spot can help to keep the peace between you and your pet.
Lets Get Started
Once you have removed all potential risks, it is time to get some work done. Ideally, you will start out with a relatively level space for your dog friendly backyard makeover. If you need to make some changes to kind of level things out, now is the time to do it.
Fill in any holes, learn more about the stump grinding cost to get rid of that stump in the middle of the yard, and remove any debris that is sticking out of the ground that can pierce tender paws (roots, sticks, stones).
Next, consider how you will divide your yard. Dogs need:
- Play areas
- A space to relieve themselves
Will, your dog share a shelter space with you? A dog friendly backyard makeover does not mean that there has to be a separate space for everyone. You can install that pergola that you have been wanting to create as a shady retreat for both Fido and your family. Of course, you can connect with local roof installation services and add a roof to your patio with a separate roof structure over your pups run, it is all up to you.
Dogs do need shelter to get out of the heat. Even if you do not live in an especially hot climate, the sun on cooler days can be too much for your pup. Having a shelter is important.
A dog house can be a great addition to your dog friendly backyard makeover. A decorative dog house will add some interest to your backyard while ensuring that your furry family members can get some alone time out of the sun in the yard.
Backyards should be fun for the entire family, including your dog. Backyards can be a great place to exercise, socialize, and get out of the house for both human residents and four-legged residents.
Do you want to designate specific play areas for your pup or will they have free reign in the backyard to play where they wish? If your choice is the latter, make sure that you use landscaping plants that are soft-edged, sans thorns, and that are safe for your pup.
Before you get to planting be sure that you have addressed any drainage issues. Parasites love moist environments. If you need to move the water away from the edges of your home, consider contacting one of the local gutter companies to help you redirect that runoff.
Gravel can be a friend if you are having drainage issues in your backyard. A small four-inch by three-inch ditch filled with gravel will help to redirect the water and keep your drainage problems at bay.
If you want to create a designated play space for your pup, consider how much square footage you want to devout and whether you will fence it off or not from the rest of the yard. Most people typically do not create separate play spaces for their pooch. However, in some cases, it is a smart idea.
For example, if you have paid for residential pool construction and your dog is not a swimmer, for safety reasons you may have to keep him or her out of the pool area. In lieu of exceptional circumstances like the one mentioned, you should not limit where your dog can play in the yard. As a matter of fact, you should be out there playing with them as much as you can. Playtime with the pups is good for the pups and good for the human companion.
Picking a Surface
Asphalt driveway paving is a great option for your driveway where everyone has shoes on in the summer, but not such a good choice for your backyard. You want to choose a surface material that is going to be easy on your pup’s paws.
Grass is always a great option, but not the only option. Soft mulch can be a great option that is easy on the paws and decorative. Sand and pea gravel are also good options to keep your pet’s paws safe.
Artificial turf is another great option. Artificial turf is highly durable, easy to keep clean, and safe for your pup. Clover makes a great ground cover for tough areas. It is soft on the paws, your dog can eat it, and it grows quickly. You can get creative with the surface material that you use. Many successful backyard makeovers use a combination of surface materials to create both a great aesthetic and a haven for their dog.
If your pup likes to roam and investigate, create paths around gardens and other areas of interest. They will be able to explore the backyard safely. While you are at it consider adding areas that are specifically their own where they can learn more about their environment. Fill the space with a large “platform” that they can climb up on and view the world around them. The platform can be constructed from wood or even a flatish boulder will do.
Never Overlook This
Your pup will need access to cool fresh water while they are in the backyard. If you do not have a spigot hose outside to make filling up with their water easy, consider contacting local plumbing services that can install one. It will be well worth the investment.
A “water fountain” for your pup installed in the backyard will ensure they can grab a drink whenever they are thirsty. It will also ensure that you never forget to fill the water bowl.
Easy Access to Fun
Your dog friendly backyard makeover could include a doggy door. A doggy door makes it easy for your fur baby to come and go as they please. It also makes it easy to reduce the risk of accidents in the house. You can self-install a doggy door in less than an hour.
A doggy door can help your pup to take control of how much time they spend outside. They will not have to wait for you or another family member to let them outside. It can encourage you to get out of the backyard more.
In almost all cases, you should not feed your dog outside. Dog food will instantly attract flies and other insects, and it spoils quickly in the heat. Of course, the outdoors is always a good place to provide treats, bones, and the occasional snack.
Do not leave water or food out overnight. It will attract disease-carrying vermin. It is best to feed your pup indoors.
Some dogs love water, some do not. If your pup just loves the water, whether it is pool water, pond water, the ocean or raindrops, you can really heighten their pleasure by including some water fun in your dog friendly backyard makeover.
Creating a kiddie pool water park for your pup is a great option for those water-loving hounds. You can simply add one of those hard plastic kiddie pools in a designated space in the yard. Of course, you can get fancy, and dig a hole for that had plastic kiddie pool and create a large enough pond for your pooch to step right into.
Do not purchase one of those inflatable pools. Inflatable pools are great for actual two-legged kiddies, but not so great for the four-legged ones. A sprinkler can be a good time for your pup as well. Be sure to choose a chew-proof metal sprinkler to avoid any mishaps.
Natural Agility Training Equipment
You do not have to go out and spend a small fortune on training tools and equipment. Your backyard can be converted into an amazing agility training center that will keep your dog busy for hours. Well placed “beams” (landscaping boards), a tunnel or two (large plastic corrugated piping) and a few treats and toys hidden in spots that require a little exertion is all it takes.
A dog friendly backyard makeover that includes an “agility course” made from easy-to-find items in a section of the yard will keep your pup busy while you get some much-needed hammock time. A backyard makeover to keep all the kids busy, including your fur baby, is a worthy project that will help you and your dog live in harmony.