The American Pet Products Association recently published the results of a survey that measured the number of pet owners in the USA. As it turns out, 60.2 million households in the country own a dog. The total number of dogs owned in the U.S. is 89.7 million.
Dog ownership is on the rise.
But let’s ask an important question: do all these dogs get the homes they deserve? Did your dog get the home it deserves?
When you think about it, it can always be a bit better.
When you’re trying to provide the best living conditions for your dog, you usually think about the inside. You want to keep your pet cozy and warm, especially in winter season. You invest in a good bed, great toys, and tons of food for your beloved one (or ones, for that matter). But is that all?
What about the backyard?
Do Dogs Need Proper Backyards?
Let’s clarify one thing: we’re not here to judge. If you live in an apartment and that’s all you’ve got, it’s okay. Just make sure your dog gets enough fresh air and exercise outside.
But if you do have a backyard, you should definitely make it safe for your dogs to play around as much as they want to.
Let’s analyze an imaginary situation, which is actually pretty real for most dogs:
A dog lives in a house. He’s perfectly happy with his family. He loves them and they love him to bits. But they don’t have enough time to walk the dog every day. He gets out for potty, and that’s about it. When they leave to work, they put him in a crate. Do you think he’s happy when he’s alone in that crate?
Now, let’s think of a different situation:
The dog has open access to a safe and spacious backyard. He is not being chained and he’s not forbidden from coming in the house when he wants to. He gets all the time he wants for exercise and exploration. He has nice toys in the backyard. When Mom and Dad leave for work, the dog is allowed to say in the (secure!) backyard.
If you were a dog, which one of these situations would you prefer?
It’s a rhetorical question.
Marry Jovanotti, who works as a writer for Brill Assignment, shares her experience: “I work from home, but that still doesn’t mean I can spend as much time outside as I’d like to. So my dog was inside all day long. We’re talking about a very active staffy, so she was often destroying things, trying to get my attention. Since I made the backyard safe and allowed her to spend more time outside, the destructive behavior went away. When I look at her now, I know I have a much happier dog.”
So if you have enough space, why not make it safe for your dog to use it?
8 Tips: How to Make the Perfect Backyard for Your Dog
1. Have a Safety Protocol
Before you allow your dog to use the backyard, you need a good plan. Do your research, so you’ll know how to keep them safe. Take a look outside and think: what could get them in danger? If you feel like this process would take a lot of time, you can hire a researcher from a service like Scholar Advisor. They will analyze your situation and offer expert tips that would help you carry this project to a completion.
2. The Fence Is Important
If you don’t install a safe fence around the yard, the risk of your dog wandering away will be huge.
Consider your dog’s behavior and install a proper fence. If he’s a jumper, you’ll need high fencing. If he’s a digger, placing chicken wire under the fence will prevent that behavior.
Regularly check the fence and repair the damages, so you’ll prevent any unwanted scenarios.
3. Think about the Gate
A dog can turn into a little Houdini if you give them enough time and space to get creative. They can and will open the gate if it’s possible. That’s why you need to make that option impossible for them.
Install secure lock that your dog can’t get. Remind all members of your family to always close the gate when they go out or get back. If they can’t remember that, investing in a self-closing system is a good idea.
4. Don’t Forget the Doggy Door
It’s important for your dog to be able to get inside or outside on their own free will. A doggy door is a must!
No; you won’t need to buy another door. It’s easy to install a pet door; just visit a pet-friendly shopping center and you’ll probably find the materials you need.
5. Remove All “Destroyable” Items
The safety protocol is not focused solely on your dog. It’s about the surrounding items as well. If you have flowers in the backyard, they will probably be gone after the first playing session without supervision.
So first, you need to supervise your dog and correct any unwanted behavior. But still, it’s important to remove any expensive tools, shoes, or other items that your dog could see as chewing challenges. Provide enough toys instead!
6. Remove Harmful Plants
Azaleas, lilies, daffodils, elephant ears, and other plants can be really harmful to your dog. Some mushrooms are also poisonous. Again; it’s time to do some research.
Find information on every single plant you have in the backyard, so you’ll remove the dangerous ones before your dog gets hurt.
Cocoa is also toxic for dogs! If you’re using cocoa bean mulch in the backyard, it’s important to get rid of it before you allow your dog to spend time there.
7. Keep It Clean and Mowed
Do you know who likes bushy backyards? Snakes. Think about it!
8. Spend Time with Your Dog!
Even the loveliest backyard is empty without you in it. Your dog loves you. Your dog wants to spend time with you. Leaving them alone outside might solve their need for some freedom and physical activity, but they still need you.
Make the backyard a fun space for the entire family. Spend time there. Play with your dog! Cuddling on the couch is nice, but playing is way more useful and fun for both of you.
A great backyard is beneficial not only for your dog, but for the entire family as well. Start planning and turn your backyard into a dog’s playground!
Scott Mathews is a freelance writer, currently working for Best Dissertation. He discovered his love for freelancing when he first started working for A-Writer.com and College-Paper. Now, he enjoys his days as a digital nomad, traveling one country at a time with no one but his dog to keep him company. It’s the life he always dreamed of! He regularly takes part in different career growth conferences and contributes his posts to different websites.