Setting up a pet proof yard is an important step in creating a safe environment for your dog.

To help dog proof your yard, Animal Welfare League NSW has put together some handy tips that will help you become aware of the dangers that may be present in your yard and to help keep your dog safe.

Fencing
A dog proof fence will help keep them safe and contained. Here are a few tips on how to create a dog proof fence.

  • The fence height should be tall enough that your dog can not jump over it.
  • Make sure there are no gaps in your fence that your dog can squeeze through.
  • Periodically check for signs of digging under the fence’s perimetre.

Although providing good fencing is an important part of dog proofing your yard, you should also ensure your dog is both mentally stimulated and well exercised. Outdoor activities such as daily walks should reduce your dog’s urge to roam. In addition to exercise, training your dog to not run out every time he sees an open door is extremely helpful. Make sure everyone at home knows about the importance of closing fences, doors and gates, and paying special attention when visitors come into your home.

Shelter
Another important aspect to consider when dog proofing your yard, is that some dogs can be vulnerable to weather conditions; it’s your responsibility as a dog owner to provide the protection your dog needs to stay healthy and safe, whether it’s hot or cold; rain or sunshine. Providing a doghouse or similar shelter in your yard is essential to give your dog a place to protect himself from the elements.

In hot weather conditions you must make sure there is a shady area for your dog to get away from the heat and always have fresh water available. During cold weather make sure your dog’s house is properly insulated to prevent cold winds and rain from getting inside. It’s also important to provide some kind of bedding that will help your dog stay warm inside his house.

Household Dangers
There are a variety of things that could potentially harm your dog in your yard, and you need to ensure these are kept out of your dog’s reach. Some of these items include:

  • Car oil or chemicals in your garage – These material are highly toxic for dogs even in small amounts, make sure you put them away and keep your floor free of dripping from your car.
  • Pest control poisons and traps – If you have any kind of pest control substances or traps make sure your dog can’t get to them.
  • Toxic plants – Learn what plants may be harmful to your dog and don’t forget to put your plant’s fertilizers away, dog are extremely attracted to them.
  • Swimming pool– Even if your dog is a good swimmer, install perimeter fences to prevent your dog from accidentally falling in the water while there is no one around to help him get out.
  • Sharp or small objects – make an effort to keep your yard free of things that could cause your dog to choke, get cut or poisoned, like tools, or kid’s toys.

Many dog owners believe that a big backyard with plenty of space for their dogs to run free is all that is needed to keep their dog happy and safe. No matter how big and dog proof your yard is, your dog needs physical and mental stimulation. Boredom may cause your dog to find their own way of entertainment, which usually ends up being destructive behaviour like digging, eating your plants, chewing on your furniture, or trying to escape.

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