What your dog needs in the yard
Make a list of what your dog needs in the yard to create a fun and safe placeA dog in the yard is as American as Cracker Jack, apple pie and a tennis ball to play fetch with. While some dogs prefer staying indoors where "doing laps" means sitting on yours while watching TV, most would rather be outside running around in the yard. It's important to make your yard fun for your pet as well as safe and secure. Put a little thought into selecting what your dog needs in the yard and your dog, you and your yard will all be happy.
If your dog is outside for periods of time longer than it takes to perform bodily functions and bark at an occasional squirrel, it needs a place to escape the sun, rain and elements. A sturdy doghouse should be big enough for your dog to stand up in yet small enough to feel safe in. Many doghouses are both indoor and outdoor for added versatility. If you need to keep your pet confined for a short time, a crate is a good alternative.
Speaking of shade, bodily functions and squirrels, you can give your dog a yard trifecta by planting a shade tree. Your dog will love it and a tree will provide a great spot for a hammock to rest on after a hard session of fetch.
Just as important as shade and protection, dogs who spend time in the yard need water. While larger breeds might enjoy drinking out of a birdbath, it's not always sanitary and it really annoys the birds. Place a large water bowl in a cool place where your dog can enjoy it and the water won't get heated by the sun or attract bugs and other animals.
Speaking of unwanted bugs and critters, many homeowners attempt to keep them away with toxic chemicals and poisons. If your dog spends unattended time in the yard, keep it safe for your pet and free from pests by spraying with non-toxic, environmentally-safe insecticides and pesticides. If you're of a spiritual nature, another great way to keep your pet safe is by calling on the watchful eye of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the greatest animal lovers in history.
Ultimately, what your dog needs the most in the yard is you. Spending time with your pet is the best way to keep it happy and healthy, and psychologists confirm that pets have a positive effect on their humans as well. Along with shelter, water and safe products, time with your dog is time well spent for both of you, whether you are in the yard, in the house, at the park or on a walk.