Tuesday, May 11, 2021

How To Make Your Garden Dog Friendly

Being outdoors is vital for your dog's health and happiness. It gives pups a chance to stay active physically and mentally, as the sights, sounds, and smells outside helps stimulate them. 

As well as taking your dog on regular walks, it's extremely beneficial to provide them with a garden. However, without putting precautions in place, your pup could wreak havoc on your garden and even encounter safety risks. To create a dog-friendly outdoor space, here are seven factors to consider. 
Choose pet-safe plants and flowers
Avoid planting plants and flowers that are toxic for dogs, such as daffodils, ivy, lily of the valley, and wisteria. Use organic gardening products instead of chemical alternatives too.
Consuming a lot of any plant can harm dogs, but there are many low-risk options such as sunflowers, rosemary, and calendula. 
If you think your dog might have eaten or come into contact with harmful plants, contact a vet immediately. Symptoms to look out for include vomiting, diarrhoea, and irritated skin. 
Create an outdoor den
Providing your dog with an outdoor kennel ensures they can shelter from poor weather. 
Encourage them to use the kennel as a den that they can retreat to whenever they're feeling stressed, anxious, or tired. Make it comfortable and enticing with blankets, toys, food, and water. Never use the kennel as a form of punishment or disturb them when they're inside either. Introduce the pooch to the kennel gradually, so they don’t feel isolated. 
Benchmark Kennels have a range of spacious and insulated outdoor kennels for sale that you can tailor to suit your dog's size, shape, and breed, so they have enough space to lay down, sit up, and play. 
Heighten garden security
In case of theft, always supervise your dog when they're outside and install outdoor security cameras and lights for extra peace of mind. Never keep your dog in the front garden, though, as this leaves them highly vulnerable to being stolen.
Enclose the outdoor space with a fence that’s at least six foot high to make it harder for thieves to enter the garden and to stop your dog from running away. Ensure there are no holes or gaps underneath the boundary too. 
Always lock any gates and fit a bell onto them, so you're alerted whenever somebody uses it.  
Design a stimulating garden
To prevent your pup from getting bored, create a designated play area in your garden with toys. You could also build a fun obstacle course for them with tunnels, jump hurdles, and ramps to keep them entertained. 
Incorporating different textures into the outdoor space provides sensory stimulation too. But don't use cocoa bean shell mulch as this is harmful to dogs.
Prevent your dog from over-heating
For when hot weather emerges, tailor the garden to protect your pup from heatstroke. 
Create shaded areas with large shrubs and trees so that your dog can shield from the sun when it becomes too hot. 
Help them stay hydrated by keeping plenty of fresh, clean drinking water outside. Installing shallow water features or sprinklers also allows them to cool off when needed. 
To further protect your dog from overheating, try not to keep them out in the sun for too long or when the daily temperatures are highest. Discourage them from exercising too much as well.

Keeping an eye on your dog during hot weather is crucial as heatstroke can be fatal if it isn't spotted. Signs of this illness include heavy panting, vomiting, weakness and excess drooling. 
On top of this, avoid creating a lawn out of artificial grass as it can retain more heat than natural grass, which can burn your pup's paws on hot days. 
Keep the shed door locked
Most sheds contain harmful items such as chemical products and sharp tools, so never leave yours unlocked in case your pup wanders in.
Protect the garden from your dog
While keeping your dog safe when outside is the main priority, you'll need to protect your garden from the dog too. Using commands will help stop them from acting out, but you can also design your garden to mitigate destructive behaviour. 
Form clear walking paths to deter your dog from running through flower borders and use clearly defined boundaries for flowers such as raised beds. To prevent your dog from digging up plants, create a specific digging area from non-toxic sand or bark. 
When dogs urinate on lawns, it creates unsightly brown patches. Train your pup to urinate in a specific area of the garden to steer them away from the grass. However, if they use the lawn, spray the section with water immediately to minimise the damage. 
Implementing these garden adjustments will ensure your dog reaps the benefits of being outside while staying safe and not destroying your garden.


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