In the summer, dog owners like to let their dogs out to bask in the sun, roll around in the grass or just sniff around in the comfort of their own yard. But, before you let your dog spend loads of time in the yard, either while you’re home or when you’re gone, there may be a couple of items to consider.
- Prior to allowing your dog to go outside, make sure the area is clean and void of sharp objects or items that your dog would love to chew on. Look closely for old bike/car parts, broken pieces of lawn tables and chairs, gardening tools, toys, sharp rocks and clothing. You may even want to move any breakable lawn ornaments to an area not accessible by your dog, and secure bird baths and feeders so your dog can’t knock them over. (If anyone wants a laugh, ask Fur Kids Foundation’s board member Felicia to recount a story about Lucy, or Tweety in this case, eating a coffee can full of birdseed!) Then, walk the perimeter of your yard. Check your fence for loose boards, gaps and uneven areas, and also look for holes where a dog could escape. And, make sure there is a lock on your gate or fence, to make sure that your dog is not able to leave the yard and no one is able to take them from the yard.
- Dig out hazardous plants. Many types of plants are harmful or toxic to dogs including poinsettias, orange day lilies, tulips, ferns, holly, ivy plants, and tomato or onion plants. If possible, relocate these plants to a part of the yard not accessible by the dog. If you cannot relocate them, make sure there is a small fence around the garden areas. For a in-depth list of plants that are harmful for dogs, please check out the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants list.
- If you live in an area with snakes, check with your local garden store about how to keep them out of your backyard in ways that are safe for both the environment and your pet.
- Make sure there is ample shade and a place for your pet to get out of the sun or rain in your backyard. Often, a dog will dig in a yard to create a cool place to lie down. By providing a dog house or other enclosure, you can help curtail this behavior. Dog houses can be purchased at many local pet supply stores, which are listed in the Resources tab.
- Make sure you provide fresh water in a shady location. During warm weather, pets can dehydrate quickly.
- Finally, keep your backyard safe by checking the areas for potential dangers often. Fences often come loose and leave nails or sharp points that your dog may run into.
We also stumbled upon this post from Sunset on “dogscaping” in an article dubbed How to landscape a dog-friendly garden, by Sharon Cohoon. In this article, you can view a slide show of dog friendly gardens that may spur your imagination for a Fido friendly backyard.
Do you have any other suggestions for dog proofing your backyard?
Related Blog: Protect Pets from Summer Threats