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7 Tips for Creating a Dog-Friendly Backyard

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Not only do you want your yard to be functional and aesthetically pleasing, but you also want it to be a fun, safe place for your furry friend to romp around! 

Digging, running, and peeing are all normal, often necessary dog behaviors—but they’re not always good for your lawn. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to make any yard dog-friendly and protect your lawn, plants, and pooch alike! 

Tip #1: Install a fence.

One of the biggest perks of having your own spacious backyard: your dog gets to run around leash-free! Allow your pup to exercise to his heart’s content by fencing in your yard. (That privacy and peace of mind is an added bonus, too.) 

You can fence in the entire yard, or, depending on the size of your property, install a fence around a designated dog area. Invisible electric fences are also an option if you don’t want to feel too closed in. 

Tip #2: Provide plenty of water and shade. 

Keep your dog healthy and comfortable during the hot summer months with plenty of shady spots and fresh, clean water. 

For shade, trees and tarps are always good ideas—you’ll want shaded areas with plenty of airflow. Confined spots, such as an outdoor doghouse, can trap heat and actually contribute to overheating. 

Keep your dog cool with a puppy splash pool or sprinkler system; that water can be refreshing and help to keep him cool on those particularly hot summer days. 

Make sure Fido has consistent access to fresh drinking water, too. Clean his bowl regularly, and maybe even use a grippy rubber base to keep it from spilling.

Tip #3: Plant a dog-friendly garden. 

Who doesn’t love planting their own garden to give their yard a pop of color? Fortunately, having a garden and having a dog aren’t mutually exclusive. 

Keep your doggo out of your garden by installing a wood, stone, or wire fence or barrier. Opting for raised garden beds can also help to keep your dog’s paws out of your plants. 

We know how determined dogs can be, though. As a precaution, it’s best to avoid plants that are toxic to dogs (or just plain expensive). 

We love plants that are non-toxic and flea-repelling: catnip, marigolds, rosemary, and sage, for example. For added flea protection, use some potent cedar chips as mulch. 

Tip #4: Create a designated digging area.

There’s no way around it—dogs love to dig. Dogs dig for a few different reasons: they’re searching for prey; they’re hiding their belongings; they’re trying to cool off; they’re bored or trying to relieve anxiety; the list goes on. 

While you can’t put a complete stop to your dog’s instincts, you can help him redirect his energy. A designated digging zone, such as a sandbox, is a great outlet for a compulsive digger. Fido can dig to his heart’s content, and your lawn will be spared from all those holes! 

Tip #5: Make your own agility course.

What dog doesn’t love having their very own obstacle course full of physical and mental exercises? As your dog figures out how to weave through objects, jump over hurdles, and squeeze through tight spaces, he’s bound to be entertained for hours on end. 

When you build your own dog agility course, you’re able to cater specifically to your pup’s age and abilities. Look for items you already have in your house or garage, such as hula hoops and cardboard boxes, or make a trip to the hardware store for PVC pipes and planks of wood to make your own hurdles and teeter-totters. 

Of course, make sure everything is safe and secure before you send Fido running and jumping through his new agility course.

Tip #6: Switch to dog-friendly grass alternatives.

Many dog owners are begrudgingly aware of the fact that dog pee can ruin grass (not to mention all that digging and running around). 

Here’s a life hack for you: if you don’t have grass, your dog can’t ruin it. Switch to synthetic turf, more durable grass blends, or non-toxic grass alternatives such as Irish moss or creeping thyme, which are less likely to stain than grass.

You can also skip the grass altogether and opt for mulch coverings or smooth, paw-friendly stones as your dog’s designated bathroom area

Tip #7: Keep Grass Green with Pet Honesty’s premium chews. 

Of course, it can be hard to part with the idea of a traditional lush, grassy lawn—especially if it doesn’t have those pesky brown and yellow patches

Along with non-toxic fertilizers and chemical-free pest control, you can keep your lawn green and beautiful with our GrassGreen+ soft chews. 

These tasty duck-flavored chews use a premium blend of natural ingredients such as probiotics, enzymes, DL-methionine, cranberry, and apple cider vinegar to balance nitrogen levels in your dog’s urine. Plus, you’ll be giving your pup’s digestive system and immune system a boost!