As a pet owner you’re probably used to having to adjust your living environment to accommodate your non-human family members.  And when it comes to planning your outdoor space and back yard, it’s only natural for you to wonder how to make it work best for you and your pets. Dog owners in particular need to keep a few basic needs in mind for their four legged pals. Here are six ways to improve your yard for both your pet and yourself:

  • Provide Shelter – Like us, dogs don’t like getting wet, cold or too hot, so consider installing a sheltered area or doghouse in your yard for those unpredictable weather days. Why not have a little fun checking out the huge variety of doghouses on the market these days to get just the right one for your pet?
  • Fresh Water Supply – Just as with food, water is something you should always make sure your dog has access to. Even if you have synthetic grass, you’ll still have a garden hose on hand for those times when you need to hose down the lawn and keep it clean. How about converting that hose into a doggie fountain when it’s not in use?
  • Designated Potty Area – Even though there are synthetic grasses and pet systems developed just for pet owners, it still makes sense to try to direct your pet to do his business in a designated area. Installing puppy pads in one corner is a good way to potty train and set up an area that works for everyone (ie: kids don’t step over there!)
  • Create a Patrol Path – If you have a very large lawn, you don’t necessarily have to install the same type of synthetic grass throughout the entire project. You can work out the usual patrol pattern your dog uses after observing him in action a few times and then, with this higher traffic pattern in mind, you can plan to install a more durable “sporty” type of artificial grass to provide a “patrol path” for him, as well as include appropriate drainage as part of the recommended pet system.
  • Exercise Friendly – Aside from the basic necessities of shelter, water and potty planning, the most important thing about getting your yard set up for your pet is to make it exercise friendly! Keep your pet active and healthy by setting up agility equipment to complement your usual yard landscaping. Agility items such as tunnels, jumps, weaving poles, ladders, ramps and hoops can provide endless entertainment for your dogs (and your kids!) and will turn your back yard into a puppy playground. Who knows, this may be a first step to getting your doggies into competitive dog shows!
  • Doggie Specific Fencing – Since you’re already taking the time and expense to invest in a high quality artificial lawn that’s perfect for your pet, it makes sense to take the time to fence it correctly. Ensure that you have a safe and solid barrier between your yard and your neighbor’s – or if you have multiple dogs and need to separate them, invest in unobtrusive fencing products that will fit into the overall landscaping to divide up the areas. You need to make sure it is impossible for your pet to dig under it and/or jump over it. There are many stylish and functional dog fences on the market that allow you to divide your outdoor space up in any way you need without losing the aesthetic design.

The nice thing about designing your lawn with your pet in mind is that you get to be rewarded for your thoughtfulness every day by seeing how happy your furry friends are when they get to go outside and play. And by choosing artificial grass over a natural lawn, you’re able to maintain the clean and beautiful green lawn you so desired when you invested in your home in the first place.

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