You have your bedroom, your children have theirs, but what does the dog to have to call his own? Usually he has a crate and the backyard to be his “personal” space. Just as you would make sure that your child’s room is as safe and pleasant as possible for him, you want to do the same for your dog.
First take a hard look around your yard. Are there any plants that are potentially poisonous or dangerous to your pet? If you do not know the names of each and every single plant that grows in your back yard, remove them for safety’s sake. Is the yard fenced and if so, is the fence in good repair? Are there any holes that would allow a dog to escape or even worse get hung up on as he tries to escape?
Is Your Dog A Digger
If your dog is a digger, how will you prevent him from digging his way out from under? If there is not a fence already, will you install one or will you use an invisible fence to keep your dog from wandering off?
Next, make sure that there is an area that will provide adequate shade for you dog in the summer months and shelter during cold and rainy weather. Are there different textures for him to explore, or is it all grass or another material? If it is all concrete, will you provide an outdoor cushion for when he wants to lay down outside?
Will the dog have unlimited access to the backyard or will he need to be taken out there by a human friend? If he does not have to wait for assistance, will he be using a doggy door, or something else? (Don’t count on your dog accepting or liking a doggy door right off the bat, some of them will refuse point blank to use them. Kiwi the Wonder Pug thinks that doggy door is just plain old bad.)
However you pet will get out there, know that even with a fenced yard and vigilant planning, there might be dangers lurking out there, so it is imperative that you check on your dog frequently if you cannot be out there spending time with him. Make sure he has plenty of fresh, cool water at all times.
If your dog shares the back yard area with your non-furred children, make sure he has a place to call his own and remind the kids that they must stay out of the “dog zone”. This area should be out of the line of major activity and should provide the dog with the feeling that it is his refuge.
Of course, there is nothing better than getting out there to share time with your pet, so grab a good book, a glass of lemonade and get out there and enjoy time with your pet.