When you’re choosing how to invest in your home, whether it be buying or improving it, you do it with your family’s health and happiness in mind. If you have a dog, you know they’re an important part of your family dynamic. This means you should account for their wellbeing as well when deciding how to optimize your house. If you’re looking for a house with a pet-friendly yard, A New Dawn Realty can help you find the perfect home for your doggo. If you’ve already got a house, here are some ways you can make sure your yard is fit for your furry friend!


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Don’t Skip the Fence

There are plenty of dogs that do perfectly well without an enclosed yard. However, even for the best-trained pups, the lack of a fence makes things unpredictable. If at any point they’re tempted to chase a critter or are spooked by something, such as a loud noise, they could bolt out of your yard. This is distressing for any loving pet-owner, but it’s especially scary for people who live near busy streets. 

A fence keeps your dog confined to the yard while also giving them plenty of outdoor space to roam. If you don’t already have one, the up-front cost can be steep. However, the payoff in terms of your pet’s happiness is well worth it. Plus, your new fence can actually increase your home’s value, making it a good financial investment as well! 

When deciding how to buy a fence, take time to consider which of the following materials is best for your yard and your pet:

  • Chain Link – Chain link fences are the cheapest effective route here. They’re nicknamed “hurricane fences” because of their exceptional durability. Plus, their design allows your dog to see outside of the fence, rather than being completely blocked off by the world. The drawback of chain link fences is that they’re not the easiest on the eyes. If you’re on a tight budget, chain link will be a great, long-lasting choice. However, if you’ve got a little extra money to spend, consider one of the other materials on the list. 
  • Decorative Fencing – An aesthetic step up would be decorative metal fencing. You should only use this option if your dog is smaller, as they’re often short fences and not very durable as compared to the other available options. 
  • Vinyl Fencing – Vinyl fencing is attractive to many homeowners because of its relatively budget-friendly price. Most vinyl fences can be installed by yourself, which saves you money on hiring a contractor. It may not stand up to a tornado, but it should hold in most pups. Additionally, vinyl is easy to clean and maintain, and will never need paint or stain. This makes vinyl the ideal mid-range budget option. 
  • Composite Fencing – Composite fencing is made up of resin and wood that is often designed to appear like stone or real wood. It’s extremely durable and long-lasting while being as easy to clean and maintain as vinyl. However, it is also fairly expensive, with pricing comparable to higher quality wood fences. Unless you’re a contractor yourself, you’ll definitely need the help of professionals to install this fence. However, if you can afford the up-front cost of a composite fence, it may be the best investment on this list.
  • Wooden Fences – Wood is the classic option for those looking for an aesthetically pleasing fencing solution. It’s fairly durable and you have a bunch of wood options to choose from when buying your fence. What you have to consider with wood, however, is the maintenance. Wooden fences have to be routinely painted or stained every few years to preserve their appearance and increase their life. If you don’t stay on top of this fence’s care, you’ll face rot, termites, or other common detriments to wood. However, when maintained well, wooden fences can not only provide a safe place for your dog to explore the outdoors — they can also give your home that classic appearance so many homeowners value.



Mitigate the Hazards

Once you’ve found a home with a good fence, it’s time to eliminate the potential hazards to your furry friend. Any yard tools, including shears, shovels, rakes, etc., should be locked away where your dog cannot access them. Consider a garden shed if you don’t already have one. You can either build your own or buy a premade one from a home improvement store. There are plenty of viable and durable options either way. 

Once you have your tools in the shed, make sure any dangerous chemicals are stored away too. If you’re painting the house, never leave paint buckets unattended. Fertilizers and fungicides should be avoided in dog-friendly areas and definitely stored when not in use. Chemicals such as ant killer are poisonous, and can easily harm a curious doggo. 

Lastly, make sure the natural assets of the yard are dog-friendly. There are plenty of common plants that are actually toxic to canines. For example, did you know that tomato plants, ivy, and tulips can all cause a variety of health complications for your pooch if they ingest them? Also, make sure if you use mulch, you check what it’s made of. Some mulch is made from cocoa beans, which smells enticing to dogs but is extremely dangerous. Better to go with an alternative such as tree bark here. 


Make the Yard an Enjoyable Space

Our last item on the list is to make sure your pup will actually enjoy being in your yard. Here are a few great ways to do this:

  • Make sure your dog can see outside the fence. They’re naturally curious animals, which means that shutting them off from the outside may make them resent the fence and the yard if it blocks their view of the world.
  • Include a fun water activity. Sprinklers and baby pools can be a blast for your pooch to frolic through, while also giving them access to fresh water. If you have the money available to install a fountain, this would be great! However, the cheaper options work perfectly well too.
  • Make sure your yard drains properly. As much as many dogs love water, standing rainwater is not good for them. They’ll be tempted to drink it, which means exposure to a variety of parasites. Plus, an ill-draining lawn can mean a mudbath for your pup — which they may love, but for you, it means giving them many an unnecessary bath. Make sure your yard is properly sloped to encourage water to drain off during and after a storm.
  • Provide shade. Your canine companion should be able to escape the sun when they need to. This helps them prevent overheating. Plus, if you put a water bowl in the area, they have a nice place to rehydrate so that they’re ready to play more!
  • Install a doggy door. You should always supervise your dog when they’re outside playing. However, giving them the option to go in and out isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It prevents them from feeling like the yard is somewhere they’re trapped. Additionally, when they’re indoors and need to do their business, a doggy door allows them quick access to their bathroom area.

Now that your yard is safe for the pupper, throw some flea and tick medicine on them and let them experience it. Remember, always keep an eye on your dog while they’re in the yard to prevent accidents. Your dog is a valuable asset to your family, and keeping them happy and healthy is important. For those looking for homes in Stokesdale, Summerfield, Belews Creek, and the surrounding areas with yards fit for your furry friend, A New Dawn Realty can help. Contact us today to start your search for the best home for you and your pooch!