Dogs. They bring untold amounts of joy to owners around the world. Whether it’s a family dog or your own personal pooch, pet dogs are playful, caring, hilarious and, above all, loyal companions. It’s no wonder they call them "man’s best friend". So it can be a disaster if something happens to them. Since the backyard is usually their domain, here are a few important tips to make sure your backyard is safe for your dog at all times. From providing shady verandas to securing fences, follow these tips and put your mind at ease.
Provide food and water
We’ll start with the simplest one. This should be obvious to everyone, but it’s scary how often even the most loving of owners — overcome by their busy schedules — forget this most basic of tasks. When dinner time arrives, your dogs will usually remind you that they’re hungry by hanging around you with an expectant looks on their faces. If you’re not going to be home one night, however, remember to leave some food out, or ask a friend or neighbour to stop by and give the dog a feed. Even more importantly, ensure you fill up your dog’s water bowl before you head to work in the morning. This is especially important if it’s a hot day, as the water will run out quickly, and this is definitely not good for your dog’s health.
Watch for holes
If you have any large sewer holes, drains or stormwater pits in your backyard, ensure they’re covered up. Most dogs have a pretty good sense of what is safe and what is not and will avoid these potential death traps anyway, but you never know when curiosity might get the better of them or when accidents can happen. If your dog was to fall down one of these holes they could be badly injured, and if you’re not home when this happens they may be stuck down there with nobody around to help.
Particularly important in the summer, dogs need somewhere cool to rest in the oppressive heat of the Australian sun. If you don’t have any natural shade providers such as trees, a veranda or even the southern side of your home, make sure you take steps to change that. It could be anything from planting some nice trees to building gazebos or leafy pergolas .
If you have an in-ground swimming pool, ensure your dog cannot get near it by installing a security fence. While dogs can swim, some of them are unable to get themselves out of the pool if they happen to fall in, and this can be disastrous. In most areas, having a security fence is required by law in any case. If you have a small dog, remember that they can easily slip through the gaps in the fence, so consider running some chicken wire along the bottom to block their path.
Chicken wire is also great for stopping dogs from escaping through your perimeter fence. A dog might be safe in your backyard, but once they find a way out into the big, wide world, there are all sorts of dangers, from getting lost to encountering busy traffic. Your dog might be a digger, too, so check your fence regularly for holes that will allow them to slip underneath and block them off with bricks, wood or by simply refilling them.