Before bringing your puppy home, it’s important to consider how to puppy proof your yard.
You should spend time going through the inside of your home, but don’t forget to walk through your yard – both front and back – and consider your puppy’s safety there as well.
He’s depending on you! Doodles are very intelligent and are easily trained, but training does take time, so it’s wise to anticipate your puppy to act like a puppy until he’s grown. Providing a safe environment for him to grow includes getting your yard ready.
Here are 10 ways to puppy proof your yard and plan for your pup’s safety:
If you have a pool, it needs to be fenced or your puppy should be blocked from accessing it whenever you’re not present. Many Doodles do enjoy swimming, but this should be introduced intentionally, not accidentally. Plan to spend time teaching your puppy to enjoy swimming but protect him from drowning by limiting his access to the pool unless you are supervising him.
Plan to keep your yard trimmed short to limit the number of pests at home there. Your puppy will encounter whatever critters live in your grass, so limit that number naturally by keeping the yard well-groomed.
Do not allow your puppy to touch yards that have been recently treated with fertilizers, insecticides, or pesticides. They are poisonous and can cause serious illness and allergies. Your puppy’s feet will touch the chemicals and then he will lick his paws ingesting the poisons. Use only natural and pet-safe products on your yards and in your gardens.
Thoughtfully select one area of the yard to train your puppy to do his business. This begins the moment you take your puppy into your yard for the first time. If you consistently place your puppy in one area to relieve himself, he will learn that’s the place to “go” each time and will eventually take himself there when needed. This saves you significant time in cleaning up after your pet and limits your yard’s exposure to germs.
Plan ahead with supplies to pick up your pup’s excrement regularly. Leaving it tempts some puppies to eat it and invites flies which can lay eggs in it creating more pests in your yard.
Check existing fences for holes or rotten boards where your puppy could escape, or another animal could come in exposing your puppy to other diseases. Even small holes could cause your puppy to get stuck and possibly injured.
If you don’t have a fence, consider getting one. There are many options! This is certainly an investment but well worth it to give your puppy safe boundaries and a wide-open space to play and explore. Be sure to check with your HOA for any guidelines they may have unique to your neighborhood.
Educate yourself on the types of plants and trees in your yard to be sure they are pet-safe. Many common plants are toxic to dogs and can cause allergic reactions and serious digestive upset.
If you have a deck or a back porch with steps down into your yard, plan to spend time training your puppy to navigate them and block your pup’s access to them until he is ready to safely scale them on his own. Falling down the stairs can cause injury to a puppy.
If you have a garden, it’s a good idea to plan to block your pup’s access to it. Your pup does not understand and will not be limited by decorative borders and will need to be trained to respect and avoid your garden. Until that time, it’s much easier to use a simple barrier of some kind to keep it inaccessible to him. Also consider the plants and herbs you’re growing in your garden and make sure they are not toxic to your puppy in case he does find a way to sample your plants.