!Header Logo

Good Friends Animal Hospital

!Give us a call button

Call us for an appointment! 217-344-1017

!Call Icon

Giving Your Yard A Pupgrade

May 16 2022

Do you have a yard for your pooch to run and play in? Fido always benefits from having a spot of his own outdoors! A local Urbana, IL vet offers some ideas on making your place more pet-friendly in this article.


First and foremost, make sure that you have a good fence. It should be too tall for Fido to jump over, and sturdy enough to keep him from going through. Got a four-legged miner on your hands? Bury chicken wire along the fence, and weight it down with rocks.


Many dogs have slipped out through gates that were left open by meter readers or postmen. We recommend getting a good self-latching gate.


Plants can spruce up any yard. Just stick with options that are safe for your canine companion. (Tip: Check the ASPCA website here for a full list of both safe and unsafe plants.) Of course, if you want to put a garden in, you may find that Fido doesn’t exactly have a green paw. One thing that may help would be to divide your yard up into separate areas. Set aside one part for your plants, and another area for your pooch. For dividers, you can use low brick walls, cement blocks, logs, shrubs, or potted plants. Or, look online for fun and funky ideas. People have made garden borders out of all sorts of things, including bottles, plates, and pallets.


Fido should live inside. After all, he is part of the family! However, he will enjoy having a spot of his own to hang out in when he’s outside. When buying a doghouse, it’s important to get one that is the right size. If it’s too small, it won’t be very comfortable. If it’s too big, Fido won’t feel as cozy. He may also defecate in it. Dogs won’t soil their beds, but a roomy doghouse won’t feel like a bed, and is therefore fair game.

Fun For Fido

Want to really get Fido’s tail going? Add some fun features for him. Automated ball launchers are a good bet. Or, get your pooch a kiddie pool or sandbox to play in. Pet fountains are another ‘pawesome’ option. There are also plenty of fun outdoor toys you can get your canine pal.

Our Advice on Giving Your Yard A Pupgrade in 2024

How can pet owners create a dog-friendly yard while also maintaining an aesthetically pleasing and functional outdoor space for human use?

Pet owners can create a dog-friendly yard that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional for human use by incorporating designated zones. Designate specific areas for the dog to play and relieve themselves, using attractive barriers like decorative fences or shrubs to separate these from human spaces. Choose pet-safe plants and avoid toxic ones, ensuring beauty and safety. Incorporate multipurpose features such as benches that also serve as storage for pet toys or a shaded pergola that provides a relaxation area for both humans and pets. Regular maintenance and thoughtful layout planning can harmoniously blend both functionalities.

What are the recommended dimensions and materials for a doghouse based on the size and breed of the dog?

The recommended dimensions for a doghouse should allow the dog to comfortably stand, turn around, and lie down. Typically, the width and depth should be about 25% greater than the length of the dog from nose to tail, and the height should be 25% taller than the dog’s standing height. For materials, durable, insulated options such as wood are ideal for protection against weather extremes, while ensuring the structure is waterproof. Avoid metal as it can become too hot in summer or too cold in winter. For larger breeds, reinforce the structure to support their weight and size.

How can pet owners prevent their dogs from digging under fences or damaging outdoor structures?

To prevent dogs from digging under fences or damaging outdoor structures, pet owners can take several steps. Install a barrier, such as burying chicken wire or hardware cloth along the fence line and securing it with rocks or concrete. Providing designated digging areas, like a sandbox filled with buried toys, can redirect this behavior. Regular exercise and mental stimulation through toys and training can reduce the urge to dig. Additionally, reinforcing vulnerable areas with sturdy materials and ensuring the fence is tall enough to deter jumping can further protect the yard.

How can pet owners prevent territorial marking and other unwanted behaviors in their yard?

Pet owners can prevent territorial marking and other unwanted behaviors in their yard by spaying or neutering their dogs, which reduces the urge to mark. Consistent training and positive reinforcement help establish acceptable behaviors. Creating designated potty areas and using pheromone sprays can deter marking in other spots. Regularly cleaning marked areas with enzymatic cleaners removes scents that attract repeat marking. Providing ample mental and physical stimulation through toys, exercise, and interactive play can reduce boredom-related behaviors. Supervision and redirection during outdoor time also reinforce desired habits.

What are the recommended vaccination and parasite control measures for dogs who spend significant time outdoors?

For dogs spending significant time outdoors, it is crucial to maintain up-to-date vaccinations and parasite control. Core vaccinations include rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus. Non-core vaccines like Bordetella, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis may be recommended based on regional risks and lifestyle. Regular parasite control measures include monthly preventatives for heartworms, fleas, and ticks. Regular fecal exams help detect intestinal parasites. Consult with a veterinarian to tailor a comprehensive plan based on the dog’s specific environment and exposure risks to ensure optimal health and protection.

As your local Urbana, IL animal clinic, we are always happy to help. Call us anytime!

!Single Blog Social Sharing Icons