Arlington_iStock_000071200371_LargeA basic backyard for your pet should include fencing, access to water, shade, and his or her own patch on which to answer nature’s call. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, going the extra mile to design a truly pet friendly backyard has far-reaching benefits. Not only will your pet be happy and safe, you can rest assured he or she isn’t misbehaving. Let the design challenge begin!

Safety First

Depending on the size of your backyard, you may want all or part of it fenced in. Dog runs can be a great addition to a larger property that isn’t fully enclosed (as long as your pet doesn’t feel isolated). Always make sure your pet is safe within the perimeter and cannot easily escape (over or under the fence). The following considerations are also important:

  • Water – Your pet should always have access to fresh, clean water. Many folks include a pet-friendly water feature in their backyards, adding a fun, refreshing dimension. Just make sure it remains clean and free of chemicals.
  • Shade – If your backyard doesn’t have a large shade tree or covered area, consider installing an overhead sun shade. Likewise, make sure your pet can easily find warmth during the long winter months.
  • Sprinkle Spot – Dog urine is unkind to grass, so consider training your pet to go in a certain area of the backyard. We like the idea of an enclosed sand box just for your pet. This keeps the rest of the yard looking spectacular, and you won’t have to worry about accidentally stepping in something.

Looking for Trouble

Many pets find themselves in trouble after digging up freshly planted flowers or jumping over the gate for the billionth time. This may be part of your pal’s personality – but when you create fun opportunities in a pet friendly backyard, bad behavior is less likely.

On Patrol!

Maybe your pet enjoys patrolling the backyard for trespassers (did someone say squirrel?!). This can cause certain areas to become worn, but this can actually help you when planning a pathway. By knowing where your pet likes to patrol, you can install a more supportive (or permanent) path for him or her to dominate. Choose materials that won’t hurt, burn, or cling to your pet’s paws.

The Best Pet Friendly Backyard

Now the fun can really begin. What components can you add to a pet friendly backyard to make it a wonderful playland for your four-legged best friend? Think about installing:

  • A DIY agility training or obstacle course
  • These fun dog houses are suitable for pets both young and old (remember, dog houses can be insulating so use caution in the summer)
  • A window in the gate or wooden fence for your pet to look through
  • A shallow dog pool or pond
  • Dig out a little bunker for your pet to stay cool in; partially fill with sand and spray down occasionally
  • Create a space just for your dog to dig; sand, small pebbles, or gravel work nicely (hide treats or a Kong dispenser to reward your pet for digging in the right spot)

Rolicking Good Times

‘Tis the season to think about creating a pet friendly backyard. Remember, part of supporting your pet’s wellness means providing safe, enriching experiences for him or her. Please contact our team if you have any questions or need any help. Above all, enjoy your backyard together!