How to Create a Dog-Friendly Backyard

mastiff puppy running in a yard

Dogs thrive when they have space where they can safely run and play. This is essential for all dog breeds, but is particularly helpful for high-energy dog breeds. A backyard can be the perfect place for a dog to run and play freely. Here’s how to create a dog-friendly backyard:

1. Install a Tall, Secure Fence

Some dog breeds have an urge to wander and to chase, which often means they should only be let off-leash in securely fenced areas. Many dogs with a protective, guardian instinct also tend to patrol their territory and will often attempt to expand if there are no clear boundaries.

A tall, secure fence around your backyard is a great way to create a safe and dog-friendly backyard. Not only does this prevent a dog from wandering off or chasing after something and helps prevent your dog from getting lost, but it can also help deter other animals from getting into your backyard, including strangers and potential predators.

2. Designate a Digging Spot for Them

There are many reasons why dogs dig. For some dogs, they’re just bored. For other dogs, it’s an instinct that you can’t really stop. Even if you can’t stop it completely, you can redirect the behavior to more appropriate channels.

One way to do this is to designate a specific spot in the backyard for them as “their” digging spot. Training them to use that spot for digging can help them satisfy this instinctual urge while also keeping your garden and other areas of your yard safe.

3. Make Sure Your Garden is Safe

One of the tips to create a dog-friendly backyard is to make sure your garden is safe. A designated digging spot can help keep your dog from digging in your garden and is one of the useful dog-friendly gardening tips. But, you also want to make sure that your garden is safe for your dog in case they get into it.

There are many poisonous plants to dogs and you want to make sure you’re not growing any of them where your dog could ingest them. Once you’ve done what you can to make sure your garden won’t hurt your dog if they get into it, you can use a mix of physical barriers, redirection techniques, and training to help keep your dog out of your garden to help protect your plants.

4. Provide Shade and Shelter

Dogs may have a fur coat to protect them, but they can still get sunburn. Plus, dogs are sensitive to heat and are at risk for heat stroke in hot temperatures or in direct sunlight. You don’t want to leave your dog unsupervised in the backyard, but you don’t want to keep them cooped up inside either.

Plus, depending on your dog, they may not want to come back inside the house when you call them. Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and other dog breeds that love winter are notorious for doing this when there is snow in the yard. A dog house or overhang can provide shade from the sun and shelter from rain or other elements when your dog is relaxing outside.

5. Add a Water Feature

It’s essential to provide fresh drinking water for your dog while they are playing in the backyard. But, adding a dog-friendly water feature can provide hours of play. It could be a permanent feature, but it doesn’t have to be. A plastic kiddie pool filled with water is great for entertaining your dog and can also help keep your dog cool in the summer.

6. Keep up With Landscaping

Another one of the ways to create a dog-friendly backyard is to keep up with landscaping and maintenance. Piles of debris, leaves, etc. can potentially injure your dog, but they also attract pests like ticks and fleas. These pests also love tall grass.

So, it’s important to regularly mow your grass, get rid of piles of stuff, and keep things cleaned up. This type of preventive landscaping can help protect your dog from fleas and also help keep your dog tick-free.

On top of that, you can add pathways to your yard to help set boundaries and direct your dog around things, like your garden. Also, it’s important to make sure you are using dog-friendly and eco-friendly fertilizers and mulches so there is nothing harmful for your dog to ingest.

7. Create an Obstacle Course

A great element of a dog-friendly backyard is something that entertains your dog and helps them get some exercise or relax. An obstacle course can be a great option for engaging your dog mentally and physically. Plus, a DIY obstacle course for your dog in your backyard can be a big help if you want to start training them for dog sports or just want to teach them something new.

These are just a few ways to create a dog-friendly backyard. Keeping some of these things in mind for your backyard can help make sure it is a safe and fun place for your dog to get out some energy or just relax.