Making Your City Backyard Safe For Your Dog

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 08/15/22 •  3 min read
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Making Your City Backyard Safe For Your Dog
Of the 40% of Americans who own a dog, 20% live in a city. When you’re living in a city, a busy town or a built up area, it is important to make sure that your backyard is a safe and secure area for your dog. Not only should you make sure that the boundaries and fences are in good condition, but you might also want to consider the planting in your backyard, so that you know that there is nothing toxic that could harm your dog.

Artificial grass

Artificial grass is a popular choice for small city backyards as it requires very little maintenance. It doesn’t need mowing and will be evergreen throughout the seasons. Artificial grass is non-toxic for pets so is completely safe for them. When you are getting your grass laid however, make sure that you choose grass that is non-absorbing, with a drainage system underneath, so that urine will drain right through and not cause any issues or bad smells. Any poop should also be picked up quickly too so that it doesn’t cause stains. If you have artificial grass make sure that you put a large parasol over it if it is extremely hot, as the grass will be a couple of degrees higher in temperature than ordinary grass.

Fencing and boundaries

Maintaining your fencing and boundaries is essential if you live in the city – you certainly don’t want the possibility of your dog getting out in areas of busy traffic. For small dogs, like the chihuahua or pug then a 3.5 foot fence should suffice. If you have a large dog breed however, like the German Shepherd, then you will need a 6 foot fence. A general rule of thumb is that a fence should be three times the height of your pet’s shoulder. If you have a small breed dog make sure that they can’t get underneath the fences and boundaries in your backyard too – some dogs, like the Jack Russell terrier, have a tendency to dig, so you should make sure that this isn’t a problem.

Flowers and plants

There are many plant species that are toxic to dogs that you will commonly find in a city backyard. These include a lot of the spring and summer plants that grow from bulbs such as daffodils, lilies, cyclamen and alliums. You should also look out for the rhododendron and azalea shrubs that are often found in backyards, as these are also poisonous. If your backyard has overhanging trees, be aware that some of the seeds that are dropped in fall, like conkers, chestnuts and acorns, are toxic for dogs, so you should always check your outdoor space – this is particularly important if you have a dog with a “see it, eat it” attitude, like the Labrador Retriever.
Your backyard is a special sanctuary for you if you live in the city. Your backyard also needs to be a safe and secure place for your dog, so that they can enjoy some outdoor relaxation at home.
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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!