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Checklist for a Dog-Friendly Yard

The warm weather of summer calls canines outdoors for fun and frolicking. But, before you open the door to the yard, make sure it’s a safe haven for your running, jumping, digging, and curious dog. This safe-pooch checklist can help you get your yard ready for romping.
  • If you have an Invisible Fence, or similar electronic containment system, make sure every component is working correctly before you let your furry friend out into the yard.
  • Check fences, gates, and walls to make sure your four-legged frolicker can’t escape from gaps that may have opened up during the winter. Make any necessary repairs before your dog discovers them. And be sure to inspect fences and walls regularly during the sunny season, too.
  • Be careful about what’s planted in the area. That’s because some plants are toxic to dogs. And avoid using insecticides and fertilizers in areas where your dog will be playing. Remember to always store dangerous chemicals in a locked, dog-proof shed or other area.
  • On hot, sunny days, shade is important! So make sure your pooch has a cool, shady area to escape the sun’s rays. A dog house or dark area under the deck may do the trick. If your yard doesn’t have a shady area, schedule your dog’s “outdoor time” for the cooler early morning and evening hours.
  • Don’t leave your dog alone in the yard if you have to leave the house. Bring him into the house before you go, or take him with you. And never leave him in the car alone on a hot day, even with the windows open.
  • Make sure your dog has clean water while he’s in the yard. If you don’t have a doggie door that will let your pooch into the house to get to his water bowl, place one outside—and keep it filled!
  • Keep an eye on your dog and check on him often when he’s enjoying himself in the yard. Don’t assume he’s safe and happy just because you don’t hear him barking.