Your dog means everything to you, so you want them to be happy and healthy.
The best way to keep them in shape is to allow plenty of exercise and walks. Spending all day at the park may not be easy because you have a job and other responsibilities.
You can create a dog-friendly play area in your backyard if you have one.
Give your dog engaging activities and running space while ensuring the area is safe.
Here are 15 tips to set up a fun space regardless of yard size or budget.
Prepare your outdoor space
Your dog lives and thrives on exercise, and the more, the better, especially when they’re younger.
So, to keep them in the best shape possible, give them space to move by creating a dog-friendly backyard.
If you’ve just adopted your dog or moved into a new home, you may not have considered setting up the backyard, so you must be strategic about creating the ideal outdoor space.
First, create a purpose for each area.
Choose a place where you’ll set up the playground and toys and separate it from where you’ll sit for meals and leisure.
Set up a watch area
Since you likely enjoy watching your pup play, put out durable furniture that can withstand the elements. Cast aluminum and wrought iron are sturdy and dependable options.
Use solar or string lights
If you want to allow your dog to play at night, set out solar lighting or string lights so you can keep an eye on them.
Gardening fanatics should also set aside a specific yard area for that purpose. Set up vegetable garden boxes to keep the plants out of the way.
Be cautious about what you grow and the other vegetation in the yard to ensure it’s not toxic to your dog.
Create a dog-friendly play zone
There are almost unlimited options for the toys, games, and functions that you can provide your pet in their dog-friendly play zone.
Use your imagination to set up a full-scale dog playground. Start by choosing the right equipment.
The playground can be a ton of fun to build, and there are many great ways to play. You can set up many attractions yourself, like a balance beam that sits low to the ground.
Your dog can try to walk on it or use it as a hurdle to jump over. If your dog loves to jump, you can build taller agility jumps using PVC pipe.
Put them around the yard and work with your dog to teach them how to run, jump, and clear the bar.
Another fun idea is to set up a tire tunnel. Many dogs love to leap and run through the tunnels or use them as shady places to relax on a warm day.
You can also set up a “dog walk” out of wood or plastic, including a ramp and a bridge.
Put the apparatus in the designated play area or over your garden to keep your seedlings safe.
Ideas for smaller yards and budgets
Dog owners with small backyards can still create a fun area for their dogs. They can do this by finding alternative ways to set up a dog gym.
Create an agility course
For instance, you can set up a mini agility course using boxes and chairs. You can even create a course indoors using pillows and other items in the living room.
Small yards still allow you to play fetch. You and your dog will have a blast.
Remember that you don’t need much space to play and engage with your dog.
Try cognitive training
Instead, you can focus on cognitive training that doesn’t require much equipment. You can find dog puzzles online or build your own.
One idea is to tie a treat to a string, hide it under a chair, and then encourage the dog to get to the treat by pulling the string.
Play hide and seek
Hide and seek is an easy game anyone can play with their dog.
Tell your dog to sit and then hide somewhere that they can access. Reward them when they find you and choose more challenging hiding places over time.
Make the space safe
No matter how you set up your dog-safe play zone, the space must remain safe for your dog.
Keep your yard safe
Ensure that fencing is installed and that it’s secure to keep your pup from getting out or predators from getting in.
Also, be cautious about the landscaping material and chemicals you use, as many can be toxic.
Use pool safety
Dogs like to play in the water, but be cautious about letting them play around the pool.
For one, you don’t want your dog drinking any chlorinated water.
Two, if your dog has a mobility disability, they could drown. To prevent any potential issues, set up a pool alarm for safety.
An alarm system is essential because it’ll inform you whenever a person or animal enters the pool.
If your dog falls in, you’ll be alerted immediately.
You can add an alarm that floats on the pool’s surface or the fence around the pool, or you can tie a wearable water detector around your pet’s collar when they go outside.
If your dog has a disability, extra care may be required.
Since dogs like water, they can have fun without a pool if you set up a splash pad that all dogs can access and enjoy.
Prevent tripping hazards
Be cautious of tripping hazards, like gaps in the deck.
Also, be aware of high railings that your dog could slip underneath.
Consider artificial turf
Creating a sensory-friendly space is a good idea by avoiding loud noises while the pup plays. Consider using artificial turf or grass alternatives to make walking easier.
Final thoughts on creating a dog-friendly play zone
There are countless ways that you can make your backyard a dog-friendly play zone that your pets can enjoy for hours.
Be cautious about the safety of your furry friend along the way, and you’ll create an ideal oasis.
Miles Oliver is a proud dog lover and an outdoor enthusiast. He often writes on his patio with a hot cup of tea and his 4-year-old border collie mix by his feet. When Miles is not working as a freelance writer, he is most likely mountain biking and roaming the great outdoors with his four-legged companion.