By Stacey Brecher
During the summer, your backyard is the perfect place for your dog to enjoy the summer. But before you let your dog loose, there are a few necessary steps to making your backyard a safe haven for your pet.
First, add a lock to your gate or fence to make sure that your dog is not able to leave the yard, says Joel Silverman, a trainer featured on Animal Planet. Prior to allowing your dog to go outside, you should also clean up the area. “Dogs love to chew. Gardening tools, toys and even left-behind clothing can be chewed and become potentially dangerous to your dog in your backyard,” says Silverman.
Make sure there is ample shade in your backyard. “People often complain about their dog’s digging in the backyard,” says Silverman. “We assume this behavior is a result of the dog’s boredom, but your pet is likely digging to create a cool space to lie down. Provide an enclosure that’s cool or free from sun to curtail this behavior.”
Keeping a bowl with cool, fresh water is a must for when your dog spends time in the backyard. Be sure to provide a nonmetal bowl in a shady location. “Bowls can become very hot, heating the water in the bowl, so you’ll want to check the location,” says Silverman. “As the months progress and the sun moves, the bowl that was once in a cool spot may no longer be cool.”
Keep your backyard safe by regularly checking the areas for potential dangers. “Fences, whether wooden or wire, often come loose and leave nails or sharp points that your dog may run into. Making sure your enclosure is intact is an important part of backyard safety,” says Silverman. If you live in an area with snakes, check with your local garden store about how to keep them out of your backyard in ways that are safe for both the environment and your pet.
Stacey Brecher is a freelance writer. She has contributed to Animal Fair magazine, and her blogs have previously appeared on The Dog Daily.