Dog-Friendly Backyard Tips to Protect Your Yard and Pet

by Jam MinoraSeptember 5, 2018

How do you mix your love for dogs and gardening, especially when you dogs are diggers and with high energy levels? Just like you, most animal lovers have had to give up one for the other; often, the backyard garden is the one that has to go.

Cute fluffy pomeranian dog with smile on face sitting in a summer park.

But, if you’re about to give up on your backyard garden after all the vegetables were trampled on the for the fifth time, perhaps it’s time you tried new strategies. Luckily, for you, we know exactly what you need to do. Keep reading to uncover the most reliable dog-friendly backyard ideas. Don’t forget that the backyard should be safe for your pets.

You’ll realize that all you need is a little smartness, a great deal of ingenuity, a lot of patience, as well as the best training. But, just before we look at the backyard ideas for your dog, did you know that dogs will destroy the garden either because of boredom, fear, or they could have spotted a potential partner across the fence? Here are some dog-friendly back yard ideas to keep your garden flourishing.

Understand Your Dog’s Breed Well

The first step to ensuring that you protect your backyard while giving your dog(s) the freedom they crave involves knowing your dog. Some dogs are natural diggers, and freshly dug ground motivates them to dig further. Others are chasers, and if the animal they are chasing or hunting runs across the backyard, they will trample on it. Also, some breeds could be easily fascinated by the flowers, plants, and water-features in your backyard. Once you understand the nature of your dog, you’ll be able to create a backyard that looks great and works for you and your dog(s).

Learning more about your dog ensures that your backyard has everything he or she loves without risking your precious garden.

Safety and Using Pet-Friendly Material

If not a digger, your dog could be a chewer. Consider the unique features of your dog then ensure that the backyard patio is constructed using safe materials. Important factors to consider include: how safe the flooring material is if the floor gets too hot or cold for their cute paws and if their nails could be caught up in the ground. You also need to ensure that the deck doesn’t have any feeble planks which could break and injure your dog.

Besides the construction materials, ensure that all the plants and vegetation are safe. That means that the plants must be ASPCA-certified. When buying plants and vegetation, think about allergies and other interactions. Plants you should avoid include iris, lily of the valley, some mushrooms, black walnuts, daffodils, sago plants, chrysanthemum, peonies, dahlia, begonia, or hydrangeas. In most cases, green artificial turf is safer than natural grass, as long as the turf has ventilation so that it doesn’t get too hot or too cold.

Besides a synthetic turf, you could also use clover as it is tougher than grass, durable grass bland, stone, or mulch (not cocoa mulch).

To be safe, an understanding of the dog’s breed and genetics from a DNA test is important – you wouldn’t want to risk the health of your pooch by assuming its ancestry, would you?

If you have to set up baits for rats, snails or other pest, you must ensure that the dogs can’t reach the trap because the traps are mostly fatal.

Fertilize the Lawn Carefully

Though great for your backyard garden, fertilizers tend to be unsafe when ingested by animals. To be safe, ensure that you follow the application instructions on the fertilizer or weed blocker’s label and keep all your pets away from the garden until the garden is watered or rained on and after the fertilizer dries out. If you’re uncertain about this, you could try organic fertilizers/manure.

A gardener resupplying his fertilizer using fertilization tool.

Sturdy Fences

Safety comes first, all the time. But, your dog needs to have unrestrained fun too. So, build a robust fence around your home to protect your dog from predators, especially if you live in rural areas.

A sturdy dog fence gives you a peace of mind because you’re certain your dog will not wander off into the night or get threatened by intruders. If your dog is a rare or unique breed, you have to be more careful about intruders sneaking in to steal your dog(s). Besides a general fence around your home, you could also build a fenced off space to create a kennel for your dog, a safe space that your pets can play in during the day.

Create the Best Playground

The best way to ensure that your dog doesn’t bother with your garden is by creating the best playground possible. The playground should be enough for the dog to expend most, if not all of its energy. Make the playground as dog-appropriate as possible – think jumping obstacles, ramps, tunnels, and bushes. While some dogs love water, others are completely afraid of water. That means that with a list of likes and dislikes, you will create the best playground for your dog.

Man training working dog on playground.

Buy Sturdy Outdoor Furniture

Will the outdoor sofas or dining sets withstand pressure from the dog’s nails, dirt, and being jumped on constantly? If you prefer couches, they should be safe for the dog and resistant to damage. You could try dog-approved furniture like wicker-furniture and aluminum-framed furniture for larger dogs.

Incorporate a Water Feature and Keep the Water Flowing

If you have a water-loving dog, you should consider incorporating a water feature into your backward. Not only is this refreshing for you but also a great source of entertainment for your pooch. You could build out the water feature into a floor fountain or a pond-less fountain, and in summer, your dog will appreciate its cooling effects a lot more.

Build a Shelter

Besides sturdy fences, tough chairs, and great water features, you need to incorporate a shade or a shelter in your backyard. This is especially important because your dog could suffer heatstroke or sunburns after hours in the sun. If you don’t have trees, consider incorporating tarps or shade clothes stretching over a reasonable area. A dog house also comes in handy.

Pathways and Trails

How many times have you had to chase after your dog because he she veered off the footpath or trail? The truth is, you can’t do much about that because dogs have an adventurous spirit. Tap into this sense of adventure by designing your backyard to include areas hidden from plain sight. Doing this adds an extra sense of excitement, and even with a small backyard, your dog gets to roam around and explore as they would in the wild.

Get a Sandbox

If your pet is a digger, you can redirect that energy and the need to dig into a sandbox. Keep the box in the corner of the yard then fill it with mulch or sand for ease of digging up and refilling. For pups and younger dogs, burying chews, toys, and treats will make the sandbox a lot more interesting.

Fight Ticks, Fleas, and Snakes

Since you don’t want your dog to bring fleas and ticks into your home, you should keep the grass trimmed, use non-toxic insect repellents, and get rid of standing water to discourage the breeding of mosquitoes. To prevent snakes, you should get rid of clutter.

These ideas guarantee a beautiful backyard and endless fun for your pooch.

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About The Author
Jam Minora
Jam Minora is a full-time mom, doggy blogger, and content writer with Pawcastle.