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How To Puppy Proof Your Backyard?

10 Effective Ideas For Puppy Proofing A Backyard

Puppy proofing a backyard is as important as puppy-proofing your home, if not more important. Yet, most owners don’t think about it until coming face to face with their puppy amid a trampled lawn and excavated flower beds.

If you’ve spent days or months working in your garden, there’s no way you’ll be willing to allow your dog to trample, dig, and pee on all your hard work! Luckily, a little puppy proofing can go a long way to keeping your garden in its present state. 

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In this article, I’ll share some effective tips and tricks on how to puppy-proof your backyard so your pooch and plants coexist in harmony!

10 Simple Tips On How To Dog Proof A Yard

Having some outdoor space to explore and play in is important for your dog’s physical and mental well-being. However, you must make your backyard as dog-friendly as possible to ensure your pup’s safety.

While it may seem impossible to keep your backyard and garden looking nice and presentable with a dog running around, I’ve got you covered! Here are my favorite puppy-proof backyard tips!

1. Fence Your Backyard

If you plan to let your dog roam around your backyard off-leash, it should be securely fenced with sturdy fencing or walls. The fencing should be at least six feet tall unless your dog is an exceptional jumper or climber at which case you can go for seven or even eight feet. 

As far as dog-proof fence ideas go, anything that will prevent your pooch from escaping the yard will work. Make sure that the fence is made from solid and secure materials like wood, iron, vinyl, chain link, or concrete. 

Your dog’s size, age, and breed should dictate the type of material you choose. This way your puppy won’t be able to jump over or dig under the dog barrier for the garden, nor will they be able to squeeze between planks or other gaps.

2. Use Borders & Raised Beds

While a fence will keep your dog securely inside the yard, garden barriers for dogs and raised flower beds will keep your flowers and plants safe from your pooch. 

Low borders, barriers, or decorative garden fencing for dogs will prevent your dog from trampling and crushing your flower beds and peeing on your flowers. Besides keeping your plants protected from your puppy, raised plant beds are aesthetically appealing and will also minimize erosion and soil compaction due to rain.

3.  Avoid Thorny Plants

For a puppy-proof backyard, you’ll need to steer clear of cacti and succulent plants. While they look amazing and serve as an ornamental plant, they can also be dangerous for your pooch. 

Cacti are quite prickly and can even injure your dog if it comes sniffing around. The tiny spines can get embedded in your puppy’s nose, paw pads, or get stuck in their fur which may even warrant an emergency trip to the vet!

4. Clean Up Any Exposed & Unnecessary Soil

All dogs love to dig, some were even bred to tunnel through the ground to catch rats and other vermin. Whether your dog was bred to dig or not they will be compelled to investigate any large exposed patches of soil in your garden.

To prevent your dog from turning your garden into an archeological dig site, clean the unnecessary soil. This simple and easy way to dog-proof a garden will also ensure that your pooch won’t end up caked in mud every time they venture outside to play in the yard.

5. Choose Dog-Friendly Plants

One of the most important aspects of puppy-proofing a backyard is ensuring that no puppy hazards are lurking around. While your puppy can cause serious damage to your garden, your garden can also be extremely dangerous for your pooch!

So, before you let your puppy hang out outside, take some time to identify the plants growing in your garden to make sure they aren’t toxic if your dog accidentally ingests them. 

Here are some common plants that are toxic to dogs:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Foxglove
  • Crocus
  • Daisy
  • Hyacinth
  • Morning Glory
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Iris
  • Azealia
  • Daffodil
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Carnation
  • Geranium
  • Aloe Vera
  • Begonia
  • Hydrangea

Below, you will find some dog-friendly flowers that you can plant instead:

  • Roses
  • Marigolds
  • Sunflower
  • Daylilies
  • Aster
  • Snapdragon
  • Hibiscus
  • Magnolia
  • Hawthorn 

If you need help with dog-proof landscaping, consult a landscaping professional as they will be able to tell you which safe plants for dogs do well in your area.

6. Choose Resilient, Self-Repairing Grasses 

Besides digging, your puppy may also pee and poop on your lawn and even try to eat it! This, of course, will affect the condition of the grass, causing it to turn yellow, wither and die. 

To prevent this from happening, choose strong, self-repairing grasses, such as Kikuyu grass and Buffalo grass. These grasses are known for their hardiness and resistance to drought, foot traffic, and watering, which makes them perfect for dog-friendly gardens.

7. Create A Dig Box

While it may sound contra-productive, creating a designated dig zone for your dog will discourage them from digging up plants and creating holes in other areas of your garden. 

The dig box doesn’t have to be big, and it’s best to fill it with sand, as it won’t stick to your dog’s paws as dirt. Place tasty dog treats and your pup’s favorite rope toys inside the dig box to encourage your pooch to dig there. 

8. Cover Ponds & Pools When They Aren’t In Use

Despite common beliefs, not all dogs are excellent swimmers. While certain breeds like Labrador and golden retrievers love to swim in open waters and play in dog pools, broad-chested and brachycephalic breeds can easily drown. 

Covering your pond or pool will protect your pooch from drowning if they are left unsupervised in the garden. This will also prevent your pooch from getting wet and tracking dirty water and mud all over your home. 

9. Set Up A Doggy Playground

Still wondering how to puppy-proof your backyard? How about creating an area in your garden that will serve as a doggy playground! 

If your dog has no alternative than to run around plant beds and decorative shrubs, they will most likely try to play with your greenery as well. 

However, you can place a set of assorted dog toys, a KONG chew toy, and some delicious cheese chews in an open area for your dog to play in. With an entire playground set up just for them to play in, your pooch won’t have any interest in playing with your plants. 

10. Don’t Forget To Close The Garden Gate

This one is a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised how many people simply forget to close the garden gate behind them. 

The best way to puppy-proof a garden is to always shut the gate firmly and also ensure that your guests, neighbors, and children do it as well. A closed gate will prevent your pooch from running off and will also hinder other dogs from coming in and ruining your garden.  

Conclusion: Pet Proofing A Back Yard 

Though keeping dogs from landscaping can seem like an impossible feat, there is much you can do to ensure your puppy and your plants coincide in harmony! Creating a doggy playground and a dig box inside your garden are simple but effective ways to puppy-proof your yard and make it dog-friendlier.

However, no matter how meticulously you puppy-proof your garden, nothing can beat your watchful eye. Along with creating a dog-proof backyard, you should also supervise your pooch while they are playing in it, to ensure everything stays alive and thriving. 

More Tips For Homeowners With Puppies:

Dog Proofing Garden Fencing & Tips

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