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How to Create a Backyard Oasis for You and Your Dog

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dog friendly home

dog friendly home

It is important that your dog receives lots of opportunity for exercise and recreation. Make sure your backyard can provide your dog a place to freely roam, without sacrificing the quality or design of your landscape. With a couple of tricks, you can create the perfect outdoor environment for your pup. Here are some ways to make a dog-friendly backyard landscape:

Dogscape Your Garden

Create an outdoor space that creates harmony between your dog and garden. Keep in mind the needs of your dog when designing your garden. Make sure your dog has the means for exploration, without messing up your plant presentation. Build a running track or path that weaves through the garden to keep the dog on an established path away from plants.

Make the path comfortable for your dog’s paws with small cedar chip mulch or smooth flagstone rocks set in pebbles. Your plants should be soft yet sturdy — anything too delicate can be trampled by your pet. Create stone or driftwood borders around plants for increased protection.

Fence

A dog’s good training can go out the window when distracted by the lure of a squirrel chase. Make sure a fence protects your dog from its own uninhibited excitement.

You can provide a solid boundary with a wood fence that surpasses the height of your dog’s jumping capabilities. Set your fence into the ground a few feet deep so that your dog can’t dig a hole under it.

If you’re worried about the solid and stark aesthetic of a fence, plant large shrubs or ornamental grasses along the perimeter. This will keep your yard a green oasis while also keeping your beloved hound safe.

Training Facility

A training course is a way you can engage your dog’s brain or condition it for any course competitions. Create a fun and ideal training course with a circuit setup with structures and fixtures that test a dog’s physical agility.

For a variety of tricks within the course, set up hurdles, a seesaw, cones and tires. Tires are great for your dog to jump through. Use your old tires as a method of sustainable recycling. This is good for the planet and also gives you an excuse to replace your vehicle’s tires with new ones.

Watering Hole

Provide your dog with access to water for refreshment after a hearty play session. You can create a natural spring or pond within your landscape that has regular circulation of water. However, if you live in a mosquito-prone region, a large body of water will draw them onto your property.

Alternatively, consider a small drinking fountain for your dog. You can install a water circulation pump within a galvanized tub or trough. This will look rustic and stylish, while providing a water source for your pup.

If you want a more transportable option, iMounTEK makes a hygienic dog fountain. Your dog can quickly be trained to use the paw-pressable pedal that controls the water stream. Since the water is never stagnant, there is less threat of bacterial growth or water contamination.

March 4, 2018 |

How to Create the Perfect Home for your New Dog

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dog friendly home

dog friendly home

In many ways, adopting a dog is a lot like becoming parents to a brand-new human baby: You’re excited, you can’t wait to meet the new addition to your family, and you have a lot of work to do to get your house ready.

Whether you are adopting a 6-week old purebred puppy or have fallen in love with a senior mixed-breed fella from the pound, take the time to prepare your home for your precious new family member. Check out these tips:

Shop for supplies

Don’t wait until you sign the adoption papers to do your shopping; instead, buy everything far in advance. Basic supplies include food and water bowls, chew toys, bedding, a collar and leash, pet ID tag, food and perhaps a crate. If you want to wait until you name your new four-legged friend to get the ID tag that’s fine, but try to get your other doggie gear ahead of time.

Look around the house for hazards

Dogs are pretty curious critters at times, and puppies are notorious for getting into everything. Take an honest look at your home and do everything you can to dog-proof it. Some dogs adore chewing on electrical cords, so if you can either tuck them behind furniture or unplug the lamps and other devices and put up the cords when they are not in use. Home Depot carries cord covers and other sorts of safety devices.

Many dogs will try “counter surfing” at least once, so be sure all of your counters are free from foods and beauty products that will hurt your dog. This includes fruit bowls filled with grapes or avocados, boxes of chocolates, cookies with raisins in them and bottles of yummy-smelling shampoo and conditioner in the bathroom.

Determine your dog-safe areas

While you hope to let your new family member eventually have full run of the house, it’s a good idea to set aside a dog-safe area for your pooch to hang out in, especially when you are at work or running errands. Depending on the size of your new dog, you can cordon off a large room in your home with either the door or baby gates, or you can confine her to a smaller space like a laundry room. Again, it’s important to have safety on the brain, so dog-proof the designated spot and also think about the overall comfort of your home.

In addition, summer is coming up, and your new family member needs to stay cool and comfy while you are away from home. Make sure your A/C unit is in good working order. You might look into protecting the A/C unit with a comprehensive and trusted home warranty — the money you save on repairs can be used for other expenses, like tennis balls, Frisbees and stuffed toys for your new pooch. TotalProtect.com outlines the typical costs to repair and replace a variety of home appliances and systems.

Keep your dog’s mind and body active

In order for your pup to be as happy and healthy as possible, it’s important to find ways to keep him mentally and physically active. Consider buying a puzzle cube for your dog and fill it with dry kibble. It can help keep your pooch happily occupied while you are away from home. Sign up for a dog obedience class to learn some basic commands and manners, and take your dog on lots of walks to get exercise and opportunities to come in contact with other pups and their people.

Finally, learn how to perform CPR on your dog. We feature a comprehensive guide on how to do it. It could just save his life one day!

March 15, 2016 |
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