How to Make Your Yard Safe for Your Dog, Pet-Friendly Backyard

How to Make Your Yard Safe for Your Dog, Pet-Friendly Backyard

How to Make Your Yard Safe for Your Dog, Pet-Friendly Backyard

Are you searching for the best ways to make your lawn safe for your dog? 

Look, we all want the best for our dogs. 

And one great way to take care of your best friend is to create a safe and enjoyable outdoor space!

Lucky for you, we fetched 9 of the best tips for making a great, dog-safe yard!

Let's jump right in!

Practice Cautious Care or Go Organic

Use Organic Lawn Care Products

Whether you are using lawn fertilizer for your lawn, or an herbicide to treats the lawn, choose a natural solution if possible. 

Fortunately, in this day and age, there is no shortage of organic lawn care products to choose from!

If you do use a synthetic fertilizer, be sure to water it in!

If you hire an exterminator: 

Most extermination companies offer pet-safe organic options. If you hire an exterminator, be sure to ask if they have a dog-safe formula.

Let your grass grow tall

Let Your Grass Grow Long

Look, I know that we are always preaching about keeping your grass cut regularly, but here is an exception to the rule!

By leaving your grass a bit taller, it will tolerate more abuse especially as your dog rolls around the lawn, paces, or nibbles at it. 

Here's the deal, taller grass means deeper roots, deeper roots means more access to nutrients and stronger grass. 

Better yet! Dogs love to eat grass! And it can be part of a healthy diet for them.

Added bonus: Cats love to eat grass too!

Make a path for your dog

Provide a Path and Boundaries

Pets, particularly dogs tend to make paths on the lawn or spaces they occupy. 

So when you are designing your dog-friendly space, you will want to keep this in mind. 

By establishing a clear walkway with mulch or a stone border, you can guide where your dog will spend most of its time pacing about the lawn, and avoid damage to the lawn.

prevent brown patches of grass

Protect Your Lawn From Spots

It's inevitable...

Your dog is going to relieve itself on your lawn, so you need to be prepared if you don't want brown patches of grass to form on the lawn. 

Brown spots are formed as a result of your dog's high-protein diet. This high-protein intake results in urine that is high in nitrogen. 

While it's true that nitrogen can be helpful to the lawn, too much nitrogen can kill an otherwise healthy lawn.

Here are some tips to prevent brown spots on the lawn:

  • Water the lawn after your dog relieves itself,
  • Build a dog-liter box,
  • Plant nitrogen-tolerant grass,
  • Fertilize less.

Pro Potty Tip! 

"One technique some lawn-loving owners implement is teaching their dog to go to the bathroom in a designated potty spot. This will keep your dog's urine from leaving grass burns, as well as make it easy to collect your dog's doo-doo when it's clean up time. Teaching this skill can be inconvenient though, as you have to take your dog out on a leash to go potty in the yard, leading them to the designated safe space."

"Some owners may not find this worth the effort, but if you've taken months to grow the most luscious lawn imaginable, you'll likely be willing to spend some extra effort location-training your dog. The good news is that if you're already working on basic potty training with a puppy, this is really easy to implement since you'll need to be outside with them anyway." -Meg Mars, Founder of

plants that are toxic to dogs

Get Rid of Plants that Are Dangerous For Your Dog

Be mindful of plants that can be toxic for your dog! 

Some very common decorative plants may actually be harmful for your dog.

Some plants that may be toxic to your dog include:

  • Hydrangeas,
  • Azaleas,
  • Rhododendron,
  • Gladiolus,
  • American Holly
  • and Daffodils. 

Avoid adding any of these plants to a fenced-in area that you intend for your dog to spend hours on end in. 

Though it may be unlikely that your dog will nibble on most plants, it's better to be safe than sorry. 

repair the fence so your dog cant escape

Fill the Gaps in Your Fence

Frequently repairing any gaps or holes in your fence is an essential part of maintaining a safe, dog-friendly space.

It's true, even a small opening in your fence can be enough space for your dog to get to work on creating an escape plan.

Be sure to foil your pup's escape attempts by keeping up on fence repairs!

get a dog-proof gate

Make Sure Your Gate is Dog-Proof

Most people don't think about this but, depending on the type of dog you have, and it's personality. He may be trying to figure out how to open the gate and escape.

Choosing the right outdoor gate and fencing for your dog is a crucial part of creating a space for your dog.

If all else fails, you can simply add a lock to most gates. 

Provide protection from the sun for your dog

Provide a Sun-Proof Space for Your Dog

Here's the deal, your dog needs to have a space to get out of the sun from time to time. 

Overheating is a huge issue for dogs who are left outside

So providing a dog house or other location for your pooch to escape from the sun in the heat of the day is essential.

Don't forget! Your dog will need regular access to water too!

control fleas and ticks in the lawn

Controlling Fleas and Ticks

Finally, for both you and your dog's sake you will want to control fleas and ticks in the backyard. 

There are a number of ways to keep flea and tick populations low. A few include:

  • Using an organic bug repellent
  • Eliminating standing water
  • Treating your bets as needed
  • and vacuuming your home regularly if your dog comes inside.

Pro tip! 

Cedar mulch is a natural insect repellent. By using cedar mulch in your gardens, you can keep flea and tick populations low.

Why should I use organic lawn care products for a dog-safe yard?

Organic products are safer for dogs as they are free from harmful chemicals that might be present in synthetic fertilizers and herbicides.

How does letting grass grow taller benefit my dog?

Taller grass has deeper roots, which makes it stronger and more tolerant to the wear and tear caused by dogs. Plus, it's healthy for dogs to nibble on longer grass.

What are some effective ways to prevent brown spots on the lawn from dog urine?

To prevent brown spots, water your lawn after your dog relieves itself, build a dog litter box, plant nitrogen-tolerant grass, and fertilize less.

How can I control fleas and ticks in my dog-friendly yard?

Use organic bug repellents, eliminate standing water, treat your pets as needed, and use cedar mulch as a natural insect repellent.

What common plants are toxic to dogs?

Some plants toxic to dogs include Hydrangeas, Azaleas, Rhododendron, Gladiolus, American Holly, and Daffodils. Avoid planting these in areas accessible to your dog.

How can I design a dog-friendly path in my yard?

Create a clear walkway using mulch or stone borders. This helps guide your dog's movement around the lawn and prevents damage to other areas.

The Bottom Line on Creating a Dog-Safe Yard

Ensure your yard is safe for your dog with these 9 tips. Use organic lawn care products, let your grass grow taller for durability, create a designated path for your dog, prevent brown patches from urine, avoid toxic plants, fix fence gaps, secure gates, provide shade and water, and control fleas and ticks. 

Your dog's safety and well-being are essential, so follow these steps for a dog-friendly yard.

If you need help developing a pet-safe landscape, reach out to the pros at GreenPal! Go here to see the full dog-safe lawn infographic.

And if you learned anything, be sure to share this article with your friends and family!

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