As our best friends, our dogs deserve the best we can give them. After all, they’re there for us every step of the way. From crying to laughing, they’ll be there to share every moment. The fact is they make a big portion of your life much, much better.
Though your dog may not be your whole life, you will be theirs. They depend on you for everything from ear scratches and belly rubs to food, walking, and cuddles during thunderstorms. In that spirit, every pup needs their own part of the house. The best way to make your loyal friend happy is to create a doggy oasis in your backyard.
1. Get rid of the toxins
Some things will naturally be toxic for dogs than for people. Before you let your best friend run free in the back yard, make sure that your landscape is free of things toxic for dogs. The first thing you should pay attention to is your flowers.
There are flowers we all have in our gardens, but they are surprisingly toxic for dogs if they eat them. So, make sure there are no azaleas, lilies, and mums in sight. To be absolutely sure that there’s nothing that can harm your dog in the garden, you should ask your vet before adding new plants to your garden. A veterinarian will be able to give you a list of plants to avoid and explain why they’re toxic for your pup.
As well as flowers, make sure that there are no landscaping materials that can cause harm to your pet. If you’ve redecorated the yard recently or repainted the fence, you’ll need to make sure none of the chemicals are easily reachable for your dog. With some things, it’s enough for them to come in contact with the dog’s paws or fur to cause problems.
Also, watch out for common garden visitors such as snails, hedgehogs, and frogs, as your pup won’t understand why their new playmate hurt them. Not every creature is as friendly as your dog, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. A focus on comfort
Dogs may be dogs, but they still like to be comfortable. This means that you should ensure your bestie has a place to rest their head and tired paws. They may prefer the cold ground to cool off most of the time, but sometimes that will be too uncomfortable for them. This is especially true if you have an older dog, as hard surfaces aren’t comfy for their bones at all.
A dog house can be a great addition to the garden. If you pad it with something comfy and add their blanket inside, it will be the ideal surface for your dog to rest upon. Of course, the dog house should have good temperature isolation. This way, your dog will be warm if it gets chilly outside and cool if the warm summer days prove to be too much for them. The dog house is also a great place to hide from sudden instances of rain.
If your pup likes to sunbathe, you can bring out a pillow or towel for them and place it in their favorite spot. Those who want to go a step further can buy a separate dog bed only for outside use. This scenario will be much comfier for your dog than simply laying on the ground.
How is your dog going to enjoy their garden when they have nothing to play with? You should make sure to have a plethora of toys outside for them to chase after, tug, chew, and paw at. Some of these toys should be meant for just your dog to play with, while others will require your participation.
For instance, the most basic dog toy you can get your puppy is a ball. Regardless of the size the ball, they’ll be able to entertain themselves by chasing after it and rolling it around. That being said, there’s no game a dog loves more than fetch.
If you have a young dog, make sure to include lots of chew toys in their collection. Otherwise, they’ll probably get bored and eat away at the grass, flowers, fence, or anything else. Chew toys come in all shapes and sizes, and you can choose some depending on how aggressively your dog chews. Those who really like to nibble will benefit most from rope toys.
Other common garden objects can be great entertainment for dogs, too. For example, if you have a sprinkle, you can turn it on and watch your dog play with water for hours on end. This is a great way to ensure your pup doesn’t perspire in the hot sun on summer days. In fact, some dogs love playing with water so much that there are special toys that allow them to paw at and pump their own water, making it more fun.
4. Water, water, water
Just like you need the essentials in your home to call it home, your dog needs some essential things to be able to call the garden their paradise. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when talking about essentials is water.
Proper hydration is important for all living beings, and your dog is no exception. Your dog will be running around, playing, digging, goofing off, and all of this physical activity will surely wear them out and make them thirsty. Just remember how thirsty you feel after going to the gym, running errands, or jogging.
If you add the hot sun to the mix, your dog stands no chance in the yard without the water. This is why you should leave out a bowl of fresh cold water out for them. If the day is especially hot or your pup especially active, you may need to refill the bowl multiple times.
Of course, the whole point of making a paradise outside for your dog is to get some work done inside while they play. That means that you can’t always be outside with them to keep an eye on their water. You run the risk of your dog being dehydrated this way, as you don't know how long they’ve been without water when you refill it.
Luckily, there is an easy solution to this problem. Many places, like Hoselink, offer automatic water bowls, and they’re exactly what they sound like. So, basically, you have a bowl that fills up with fresh and clean water on its own to keep your pup hydrated This way, you can get on with your work without worrying your dog is sad and thirsty.
5. Safety first
Last but most importantly, to truly make a paradise out of your garden, you need to make it safe. Dogs are naturally curious and will wander off after their ball, a butterfly, a bird, or anything that catches their interest. You don’t want to enter your garden only to find that your best friend is gone.
Some dogs are so adventurous that they jump shorter fences just to pursue their point of interest. Not only could you lose your dog if you don’t make the yard safe, but they can also end up seriously hurt. This is why investing in a high and sturdy fence is a must for many breeds.
You may think that this will make your yard look like a prison to the dog, but you would be wrong. They can’t really tell a difference unless they see that there is a world beyond the fence. What’s more, when they don’t see it, they probably won’t care for it, as they’ll have all of what they need right there in the garden with them. Finally, there are plenty of ways to make a tall fence look appealing and elegant instead of menacing.
You should also take care so your dog can’t crawl under or dig under the fence and get out that way. If the smell or sound that’s attracting them is too strong, or if they’re just feeling extra adventurous that day, they’ll surely try to find a way out. You can solve this issue easily by making sure your fence goes all the way to the ground. An extra precaution would be to pave a stone path along the fence.
Another precaution you can take is to splurge on an ID tag for your dog’s collar. Some tags come with GPS tracking, which can be synced up with your phone. This way you’ll get an alert if your dog decides to make a run for it.
No matter how well-trained your pup may be, you still have to prepare for the worst. Something will catch their attention and send them chasing, so it’s better to take all the necessary precautions and be safe rather than sorry.
Your fur baby will no longer have to spend sunny days indoors, begging you for a walk. Instead, they’ll have their own paradise outside that they can play in all day. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should leave your friend alone outside all day. After all, their paradise won’t be complete without their best friend to join in on the fun.