It’s summer, and the warm weather and longer days are perfect for enjoying outdoor activities with your dogs.
The best thing about it, however, is all the open space.
Your pups can run around and roughhouse to their heart’s content out in the open, and you wouldn’t have to worry about them breaking anything indoors.
Not everything outdoors is a friend of your dogs, however.
Before letting them run free, make sure to put in measures against potential dangers to your pets, like insecticides and poisonous plants.
Follow these five tips to make your backyard safer for your beloved dogs:
1. Reduce tick and flea hiding spots
Tick season lasts all year in Georgia, but these pests are more active during warmer months.
Fleas and ticks cause a host of problems and diseases for dogs, including hair loss, tapeworms, anemia due to blood loss, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Keep your pups safe from these pests by reducing common tick hiding spots in your yard, such as bushes and grasses.
You can do this by mowing your lawn regularly. You can also have a tick control treatment done before you let your dogs play outside.
Additionally, make sure your pet has a tick prevention medicine routinely scheduled.
These medicines are typically available in pill or liquid form, but there are also tick collars that your dogs can wear if you find it difficult to make them ingest the meds.
2. Switch to an artificial or clover lawn
Between your dog’s digging and peeing, grass lawns are a challenge to maintain when you have pets.
So, if you’re planning to let your dogs play in your yard frequently, consider switching to an artificial or clover lawn instead.
Artificial lawns require minimal maintenance.
You don’t need to weed, mow, aerate, or water them to keep the grass green. Additionally, synthetic grass is immune to dog pee stains.
The urine drains away easily, so you won’t have to worry about discoloration or odor.
If you prefer the look and feel of natural grass, then clover lawns are your best option.
Clover doesn’t stain the way other lawn grasses do after urine exposure, eliminating the risk of dog patches.
It also feels soft and cool underfoot, so your pet can run freely and comfortably throughout your lawn.
3. Watch out for toxic plants
Some common landscaping plants are harmful to dogs, including lilies, azaleas, and sago palms. Lilies and azaleas affect the heart while sago palms and other members of the cycad family can cause liver failure.
When planning your landscaping, do research on the different plants you’re eyeing first to make sure they’re safe for your pups. Check out this list by the American Kennel Club to find out what other plants are poisonous to dogs. You can also ask the landscaping service for recommendations on pet-safe plants.
If you insist on planting flowers that are toxic for dogs, you can enclose the bush or garden bed in a fence or grow them in pots inside the house instead.
4. Set up a pup playground
A designated play spot can help keep your dogs from destroying your plants or digging around your lawn. A playground is also a great place for your dog to expend their energy when they have extra energy.
Fill the play area with playground features like tunnels, jumps, and even DIY dog forts made from cardboard boxes. Make sure to include things or activities that your dog enjoys. For example, a sandbox is great for pups that are fond of digging and burying items.
If your dog loves to splash around to stay cool in the summer, then a kiddie pool would be the perfect addition to the playground. Just remember to get one that’s appropriate for your dog’s size.
5. Designate a rest area
After all that play, your dogs will need rest. Make sure your yard has lots of shaded areas for your snoozing and cooling down.
A tall, shady tree should provide enough shade, but you can get a tented area or puppy awning if you don’t have trees in your yard.
Most importantly, keep your dog’s water bowl filled at all times to keep them refreshed.
Designing a Dog-Friendly Backyard
It doesn’t take much effort or money to make your backyard safe for your dogs.
Pay attention to the plants you’re growing and provide enough space, water, and shade. As long as you do these, your pups will have a wide, safe space where they can play and chase their tails freely.