New parents are probably used to hearing the phrase “baby proofing” your home. Common suggestions like outlet covers, turning your pot lids to point inward, and covering up some of the sharper edges around your home are fantastic suggestions to keep your child safe and smiling. Babies aren’t the only ones who might need a bit of help around the house though – if you’re a new pet owner, taking steps to prioritize making your home and yard pet friendly should be top of mind. Below are a few suggestions to improve the pet-friendliness of your backyard.
1- Add a Pool
Pools have the unique value of being something that both children and pets can get quite a bit of utility out of. Don’t go calling your local pool installation company just yet though, unless you’ve got the funds (and plan) to go digging into the foundation of your backyard. If you’re seeking to make your yard a bit more friendly for ol’ Spot, a small inflatable pool can go much further than you may think.
If you live in an area that gets hot during the summer, you’ll probably find your pet panting on those warmer days. A pool offers a quick, low-cost (again, inflatables may be the way to go here) way for your pet to cool off and chill out when they get a bit overheated.
2- Pay Attention to Your Plants
There are a wide variety of plants and herbs and flowers that you can plant in your yard without fear that you’ll be putting your pup in harm’s way. Options like sunflowers, sage, rosemary, and catnip are all great options, with the latter three even having the bonus benefit of repelling fleas!
As far as grass goes, as you likely know, dog urine has the tendency to stain, so you’ll want to either choose a more rugged type of grass like Kentucky Blue or nix the grass in favor of another option.
3- Build (or Refinish) Your Deck
Another two-birds one-stone option could be building or refinishing a deck. While the benefits to humans are obvious and don’t require iteration here, your dog might fancy the deck all its own as well. Not only can a deck provide glorious shade for your dog (a must in the summer, especially if you’re pool-less), but taking the care to refinish and regularly maintain your deck will ensure it holds up to the scratches (and maybe gnawing) of your new dog.
4- Install a Sandbox or Course
If you haven’t picked up on it quite yet, dogs have a lot of energy, and you’d probably prefer that they avoided going too hard in your home. Why not, then, set up a small obstacle course or running path around your yard to let your pup get its energy out the old-fashioned way – by sprinting around an open field. A sandbox, likewise, provides some tactile feedback for your dog, who might enjoy digging around and burying objects every once in a while. Of course, you’d rather he or she do it in a sandbox than your new rhododendrons we’re sure.