There are a lot of dogs in Boise. Many people in the Boise area have a dog, or dogs, in their houses or in their yards and many of them want to do right by them. They want to provide their canine friends with the best they can offer, and who wouldn’t! But how can you make your backyard fun for both you and your dog. There are many things that we as humans enjoy, and many things that dogs enjoy, but can they exist in the same backyard without losing the backyard’s look and aesthetics? Well, we are here to proudly tell you that yes, you can have a backyard that is comfortable for you and fun for your pup without sacrificing your beautiful landscaping.
Idea Number 1: Give your dog cover from the elements
Dogs like to sleep in small shelters. They also need a place to go to be protected from the elements, so, something that you should consider when putting together your backyard is where you will put your dog’s shelter. The most basic of shelters can be a large piece of plywood leaned up against the house, however, if you are looking for something with a bit more aesthetics, you might consider an attractive dog house. The main goal here is to create a place where your dog feels comfortable when they want to cool off, get out of the rain, or take a nap. Even if your dog spends most of its time inside, you will want something outside for them as well. That way, if they are left outside, they will have a place to get comfy.
When making their shelter, consider putting a door or gate on it so you can close them in if you have guests over that are afraid of or allergic to dogs. (NOTE: dog trainers state that your dog’s dog house should never be used as a punishment. Never kennel your dog if they are naughty as they will start to dislike it.)
Dogs like to roam and play. So, it is natural that a home and dog owner would want and need a fenced in backyard to keep their dog in and to keep them safe. However, fences can be boring for dogs and make them feel penned in. So, one thing you can do is to line the outer edges of your yard with bushes or trees to give the parameter of the yard a more fun and free atmosphere. This will also give your dog someplace where they like to make their territory (instead of in the garden or the middle of the lawn— not guaranteed).
Idea Number 3: Install a dog pond
Here in Boise, the summers can get to into the high 90s and even 100+ degrees Fahrenheit which can be murder on our furry friends. So, to prevent them from digging down into your lawn for cool earth, get them a pond to enjoy. The easiest way to do this is to get one of those small plastic pool that are always out in front of grocery and department stores during the summer and place it out in the corner of the yard filled with fresh water. Your dog can then frolic and play in the water to keep themself cool and entertained.
You can also put this plastic pool in the earth by digging down only a foot or two. That way it looks a little more planned when guests drop by and want to spend time in your back yard. (If you do dig down to place it, be sure to make it so you can get it up and out again). Also, when the winter comes you can empty the pool and fill it with sand or wood chips so they dog has a soft place to play when they are outside instead of an ice rink.
Idea Number 4: Build them an obstacle course
Dogs are adventurous and usually full of energy and an obstacle course is perfect for them. Now you don’t need to build them on that is huge or one that is obviously an obstacle course. All you need to do is to put things around your yard that would be fun for a dog to climb on, through, or over. Tunnels are very fun for lot of dogs and they can easily be pulled off as part of the landscaping — or even hidden in the landscaping. You can also build up rocks that are smooth for them to climb up and on top of. And so on and so forth.
Idea Number 5: Encourage them to mark their territory in specific spots
Dogs naturally want to urinate and mark their territory on specific things. So, instead of leaving your dog to choose where he or she wants to do their business, maybe create parts of your landscaping that look like natural territory marking spots. Put a large pile of boulders in one corner of the yard, then maybe some wooden posts in another (assuming that these match your landscaping), that way they aren’t contemplating doing it on your grill or patio swing.
Idea Number 6: Put paths in your yard
Dogs like to roam and if there are paths in your yard that take them around corners, behind sheds or shrubs and so forth, they will gladly follow them. You can just make paths around your yard that you would normally want and then take your dog around them once or twice to show them where they go. It will be a fun way for them to explore and stay entertained while fulfilling that urge to patrol their territory.
Idea Number 7: Whatever you do keep it dog safe
When landscaping your backyard, talk to your vet about what plants and landscaping features are safe for your dog. There are plenty of plants, flowers included, that can be deadly to your dog. So, make sure to shy away from those.
Also, consider your dog’s abilities. If your dog is older or unable to handle water very much, then don’t give them a deep pool for the summer. If they have arthritis or bad joints, they may not like, or be able to climb around on top of rocks. So, just be cognizant of what your dog can and can’t do before you start doing anything. Watch them for a few days, once you have an idea of what they like, you will be able to better design a backyard for them.
So there you are, 7 ways that you can make your backyard a dog’s paradise. However, if you are searching for a house here in the Boise area that you and Fido can enjoy, then keep in mind there are some restrictions on pets in some areas. Dogs are great, but there are some communities that don’t like them or have restrictions on the kind of dogs they allow. Contact one of our licensed real estate agents today for more information about dog tolerant neighborhoods before you start searching for a home here in the Boise area. These agents will be here to answer any of your questions and to help you in any way they can.