How to Make Your Yard More Dog-Friendly

dog with toy running in backyard
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The best part of warm weather is playing outside with our dogs! Ensure your yard is dog-friendly with these tips.

Warm weather means more playing outside with our pups!

Exercise is important for dogs, but it’s also just plain fun. While going on walks and visiting dog parks are great for our furry friends, we often don’t have to venture past our own backyard.

As you and your pup spend more time outdoors, there’s no better time than now to make sure your yard is dog-friendly. Here are some ideas that will keep your dog safe, happy, and cool in the yard.

Provide Shade

The first and most important thing you can do to ensure your yard is dog-friendly? Make sure there is shade! Dogs don’t sweat like humans to help regulate their temperature–and they’re wearing a fur coat, after all.

Providing shade for your dog to enjoy is one way to help them stay cool and prevent overheating during hot weather. If you don’t have trees in your backyard, awnings, canopies, and large umbrellas are great options. There are even special dog beds with canopies or hoods.

Provide Plenty of Water

Again, dogs don’t sweat like we do. Not only do they rely on shade to keep from overheating, but they also rely on panting and staying hydrated. During warmer months when dogs are at higher risk of overheating or heat stroke, make sure there is plenty of water to drink.

dog playing, investigating sprinkler
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Aside from drinking water, you can also help your dog stay cool with a little water to play in, too. Kiddie pools are great for dogs who enjoy swimming. For dogs who aren’t big on being submerged in water, a sprinkler might provide some cool relief and a lot of fun.

Avoid Toxic Plants

It’s important to be mindful of the plants in your yard. Not all plants, flowers, and shrubs are dog-friendly. Even if you’ve never seen your pup nibble on a plant, it’s best not to risk it with toxic plants that your dog could access. You never know when your dog might decide to snack on a flower when you’re not looking!

The ASPCA provides a huge list of plants that are toxic to dogs. It also includes a long list of non-toxic plants, too.

Related: Houseplants That Are Safe To Have Around Your Dogs and Cats

Designate Digging Spots

Many dogs love digging in the dirt. If you’re not careful, they’ll dig up your flower beds and under the fence! To avoid digging in unwanted spaces, designate areas where they are allowed to dig. It will help keep them too busy to tear up your flower beds!

dog digging and playing in sand box
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You can hide toys and treats in approved digging areas for your pup to find. Or, put in a soft sand play area for your dog to play in. Not only will it keep them from digging in unwanted places, but it will also provide exercise and mental stimulation.

Put Up a Fence

I know this one is obvious, but it is worth mentioning. Dogs are curious, ambitious, and sometimes rambunctious. If they can get out to chase a squirrel or check out the cat food your neighbor left on the back step, they absolutely will.

Providing a physical barrier will help contain your furry friend in your own yard. Of course, determined dogs will try their hardest, regardless of a fence, so vigilant supervision is still necessary. But that fence will at least help provide boundaries for most dogs.

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