Pet-Friendly Yard 101

Taking An In-Depth Look Into The Best Methods And Practices For Making Your Yard As Pet Friendly As Possible This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors, and our furry friends love it just as much as we do. Creating a pet-friendly yard ensures that your pets are safe, happy, and well entertained. This article will offer some general tips to make your yard the ultimate haven for your pets this summer.

Secure Your Yard

The first step in creating a pet-friendly yard is ensuring it is safe and secure. Here are some more specific ways to create a safe and secure yard. 

Yard fencing

Yard fencing


Install a sturdy fence that’s tall enough to prevent your pet from jumping over and secure enough to prevent digging underneath. Having a fenced-in yard is essential for dogs, especially the playful type. Invisible fencing is also an option, but it is not as full-proof as a physical wood or vinyl fence. 


Ensure all gates latch securely to prevent any accidental escapes. A smart pet will notice an open gate and will often take advantage of an opportunity to roam free. Also, be sure to inform people that come and go on your property (gardeners, pool maintenance people, etc.) that your gate needs to be closed to prevent your pets from escaping. 

Provide Plenty Of Shade and Water

Pets don’t sweat the same way people do. Therefore, they can’t keep themselves cool in the same way we do. As a result, pets can easily overheat during the summer months. This is why providing shaded areas and plenty of water is crucial for them during the hot summer months. 


Create shaded spots with trees, bushes, or umbrellas. Consider installing a pergola or a canopy for additional shade. Always ensure your pet has access to shade when outdoors and never leave them unsupervised outdoors. 

Outdoor water station

Outdoor water station

Water Stations

Place water bowls around the yard and keep them filled with fresh, cool water. Ideally, you should replenish these water bowls at least twice a day. Also, avoid leaving outdoor water bowls in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can lead to algae buildup and make both the bowl and water too hot for your pet.

Additionally, a pet fountain can be a fun and practical addition, ensuring a constant supply of fresh water.

Pet-Safe Landscaping

Another important aspect of a pet-friendly yard is the landscaping. Always choose plants and materials that are safe for pets. Here are some more specific examples.

Non-Toxic Plants

Avoid putting plants in your yard that are toxic to pets. This includes things like lilies, azaleas, and oleander. Instead, opt for pet-safe plants like marigolds, sunflowers, and roses.

For a comprehensive list of what plants are toxic to pets, click here

Pet-safe mulch

Pet-safe mulch


Mulch is commonly used for many household landscapes. However, some mulch can be toxic to pets if ingested. Therefore, always use pet-friendly mulch, such as cedar or pine. Avoid things like cocoa mulch, which is toxic to dogs.

For more information about the different types of pet-safe mulch, click here

Lawn Care

When it comes to lawn care maintenance, always use pet-safe fertilizers and pesticides. Many common lawn care fertilizers and pesticides can be harmful if ingested. For more information about pet-friendly lawn fertilizers, click here. Also, for more information about pet-friendly pesticides, click here

Create Play And Exercise Areas

Another great way to ensure your pets stay safe and happy in the front or back yard is to create a designated area for them to play and exercise in. Here are some general tips for creating the optimal designated play & exercise areas for your pets. 

Play Structures

Encourage your pets to play and exercise by installing tunnels, ramps, and pet-safe obstacles. Also, consider adding a sandbox for dogs to dig in. 

Open space in the yard

Open space in the yard

Open Space

Provide an open area where your pet can run and chase toys. This is especially important for dogs who need plenty of exercise. Typically, the more space the better!

Interactive Toys

Place durable, outdoor-safe toys around the yard to keep your pets occupied. This not only entertains your pets, but helps them associate playtime with that particular area. 

Provide a Cool-Off Spot

On hot summer days, pets need a place to cool down. Therefore, it’s a good idea to provide them with some kind of designated place for them to cool off. Here are some examples. 

Kiddie Pool

A small, shallow pool can be a great way for dogs to cool off. Ensure it’s in the shade and the water is changed regularly. Also, always supervise your dogs when they are swimming, even in small kiddie pools.

Outdoor sprinkler

Outdoor sprinkler


Alternatively, you can set up a sprinkler for your dog to run through. Many dogs love playing in the water and it helps them stay cool.

Ensure Safety From Pests And Wildlife

When outdoors, your pets can be subjected to outdoor pests and wildlife. Therefore, it’s imperative that you protect your pets from pests and wildlife that may pose a threat. Here are some examples. 

Tick and Flea Prevention

Regularly check your pets for ticks and fleas after they have been outside. Additionally,  use vet-recommended prevention products such as topical solutions, oral pills, or flea & tick collars. 


Wildlife encounters can pose a threat to your pets as well. Should your pet get attacked by a wild animal, they could be injured, contract a disease, or even be killed. Therefore, it’s important to secure trash cans and compost bins to avoid attracting wildlife. Also, ensure your yard is clear of food that might attract unwanted visitors.

Keeping Pets Happy, Healthy, And Safe While Outdoors

By implementing the aforementioned tips, you can create a yard that’s not only beautiful but also a safe and enjoyable space for your pets. Safety should always be a number one priority when it comes to our pets. Especially during the hot summer months. Happy summer and enjoy the outdoors with your furry friends!

Hire a dog walker or pet sitter this summer!

Hire a dog walker or pet sitter this summer!

Hire A Dog Walker Or Pet Sitter This Summer!

If you or someone you know is looking for pet sitting or dog walking services, then look no further than Paws & Claws Pet Sitting and Dog Walking! We service the Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara, and West San Jose areas. Click here to contact us or give us a call at 408-752-2997.

Additionally, be sure to check us out on social media too! We post regularly on Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an update or adorable picture of the many pets we care for. 



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