Bringing home a dog is like bringing home a new baby. You accept a huge responsibility, and in exchange, you have someone you can hold, love, play with, train, and photograph.
But you wouldn’t bring a new baby into your home without babyproofing. Likewise, you shouldn’t bring home a new dog without puppy-proofing. And since the backyard is an extension of your fur baby’s “nursery,” that includes finding ways to prepare your yard for a new dog.
A fence is like your dog’s baby gate. It lets your dog enjoy the great outdoors without a leash (and without you needing to worry about him running into traffic). But not every fence is practical for every dog. Avoid a fence that a dog can jump over, dig under, or break through based on your dog’s size and strength.
Watch Out for Gardening Supplies
You wouldn’t leave power tools and chemical cleaners lying around where your baby could get them. The same goes for your new dog. This includes things like rakes, pitchforks, and yes, power tools. But more significantly, it includes pesticides and fertilizer that your dog could decide to snack on. Make sure you keep these things secure in a garage or shed with the door shut so your dog can’t sneak in.
Choose Pet-Safe Plants
A flower garden can look like an all-you-can-eat buffet to your dog. And although most plants are relatively harmless, some pose hazards. Watch out for these plants that are toxic to dogs:
- Aloe vera
- Baby’s breath
If you have plants that you want your dog to stay away from, try adding things around the border. Things with strong scents like garlic or citrus tend to repel dogs, so you can try mixing it in with your mulch.
Create an Outdoor Pet Shelter
This is the equivalent of getting the nursery ready. A good shelter should be sturdy, well insulated, weather resistant, and easy to clean. Once you have that going for it, you can get to the fun part of preparing your yard for a new dog: decoration!
A good coat of paint goes a long way in making a doghouse beautiful. Just make sure you use nontoxic, pet-safe paint when you do. Check out ECOS Paint’s tips for painting a doghouse for helpful advice on getting the job done right the first time.
As proud fur mamas and papas, bringing our dogs home is one of the most exciting days. By taking the time to get our homes and gardens ready for it, you can assure that day—and all the days after—are good ones.