Many owners these days opt to keep their pets indoors, especially during the hot summer months. However, when proper steps are taken, BestBullySticks believes a comfortable backyard can be just as inviting as an air conditioned home! Finding the right dog-friendly options for your backyard can be daunting — after all there are quite a few things to take into consideration. But making a comfortable and dog friendly yard can be a lot of fun, too. With your dog in mind, let’s look at a few ways to spruce up your yard.

Outdoor Dog Needs

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, especially when you’re not home — a cozy dog house is a great place to start. Dog houses can help a dog both warm up and cool down throughout the year. In the summer months, it’s a great place to escape the heat. During colder months, a properly built dog house can be a cozy place to warm up. Choosing the right dog house can take a bit of research. Take a gander at our recent post on the BBS Healthy Dog Blog about Dog House Repairs where we discuss everything from how to choose a dog house to building your own!

Landscaping for Pets

Pet friendly amenities are a great way to add some functional aesthetic to your backyard. Access to clean and fresh drinking water is an absolute necessity. Consider dedicating some space in your backyard to a small fountain or other water feature. Having a constant source of fresh water in the backyard saves you the headache of filling up outdoor water bowls and gives your dog a great way to cool off during the summer.

Ponds are also great. However, make sure there’s an easy way for your dog to get out if he/she were to accidentally fall in! Low steps or a shallow ramp will give your dog an easy way to hop out after spending time in the water. Also, refrain from using any toxic chemicals to treat your fountain or pond’s water supply if your dog will be within paw’s reach.

Choosing the Right Items

Bringing together a well manicured backyard takes ample planning and hard work. Make sure you get it right the first time — get familiar with dog-specific landscaping concerns before you start digging. Many decorative plants and items in your vegetable garden pose a hazard to your dog. Be sure to separate these plants from your dog’s play area otherwise a curious nibble could lead to serious trouble.

Azaleas, daffodils, foxgloves and rhododendrons are just a few common flowers with high-toxicity for pets. Consult the ASPCA’s Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant Guide for Pets for a full rundown on hazardous items frequently found in many gardens.

Many mulches are made with cocoa bean shells and contain theobromine, the same ingredient which makes chocolate toxic to dogs. Talk to your gardener or local home improvement center to find an all-natural mulch more appropriate for use around dogs.

It’s very important to place limits on how far your dog can wander. However, BestBullySticks is against the chaining of dogs. Keeping dogs on a chain is physically and psychologically harmful. The frustration of being chained up causes anxiety and hyperactivity, sometimes developing into outright aggression. There’s also a much higher chance of a dog injuring itself and others while chained. A chained dog is an unhealthy dog.

If you plan on keeping Fido outside for an extended period, consider creating a fenced play area free of hazards. A good fence is not only a nice addition to the yard, it gives your dog an additional measure of safety. Unfenced backyards are not a safe option for dogs. It’s too easy for them to wander into trouble without boundaries.

Bring the Fun Home

While most any dog will enjoy lounging around outside for the afternoon, forcing them to live outside permanently is ill-advised. As den animals, there is no way to replace the comfort and companionship dogs take from spending time with their family.

Dogs need to be around people or other dogs to keep their spirits up. Even if they’re able to run free and frolic about the yard, there’s nothing that can replace regular social interactions. Balancing indoor and outdoor life is an important part of your dog’s overall happiness — even the best backyard with the best dog house isn’t enough to replace the love of a good home.

Does your dog love spending time outdoors? Tell us about it below! BestBullySticks.com offers the best selection of safe and all-natural dog chews and treats anywhere. Be sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter to keep up with news and specials!