If you've decided to bring a small dog into your family as a companion and playmate, then you're probably already aware that they need to play and run around outdoors to keep them healthy and happy. It's best to make sure you have great access to an safe, secure area for romping and resting before you get your pup. Here are some tips for ensuring your pup is securely surrounded by a sturdy fence and accented with pet-safe landscaping features and plants.
Choose a Chain-Link Fence
Thick wire in a basket-weave configuration has become the standard of cost-efficient fencing for residential backyards. Firmly attached to sturdy metal poles that are sunk deep in cement footings, the chain-link mesh is neat and unlikely to sag or bend. You won't have to worry about a dog following its natural wanderlust or sneaking out with this type of barrier between it and the rest of the world. Here are some further tips to help ensure your fence works for you and your dog.
- TIP #1: Although some folks don't like the look of traditional, plain metal chain link, your dog isn't going to mind one little bit. For a slightly higher price, your contractor can install vinyl-coated, colored chain link that's both pretty and durable. Your pup will be fine with that choice, too.
- TIP #2: Your municipality probably has fencing regulations that dictate how high fences can be in residential neighborhoods. Verify what the limitations are before you bring in a fence contractor to erect a 6-foot chain-link barrier. Most small dogs are perfectly happy to stay inside a standard, residential-height fence that's 3 or 4 feet high. If your dog is a jumper, you can add roller bars to the top of the fence to deflect escape attempts.
- TIP #3: Have your fence installation contractor put a spring-loaded or child-proof latch on the gate, and mount it high out of the reach of a curious little dog's nose and paws. Make sure everyone in your household knows how important it is to open the gate carefully and close the latch tightly to prevent your dog from sneaking out.
- TIP #4: Unless your backyard terrain is unnaturally flat, there will be some small gaps along the bottom where the ground dips lower than the fence's bottom rail. Fill in those gaps with dirt and tamp it down well before your dog even goes into the newly fenced yard for the first time.
Landscaping Feature and Plant Selection
Your small dog will adore just about every landscaping feature the humans in your household like in the back yard. As long as there's someone to hang out with, it can be perfectly content cavorting with the kids or lounging beside grown-ups on the patio. There are a few precautions, though, for your dog's safety and comfort.
- Tip #1: Make sure there's a source of drinking water available. An automatic watering bowl is ideal, but don't be surprised if your pup decides your water garden or birdbath is more interesting when it gets thirsty.
- Tip #2: Before planting anything, check it against a list of toxic and non-toxic plants to make sure that you aren't putting something in the yard that could make your small dog companion very ill.
- Tip #3: Provide ample shade for hot summer days. Tall shade trees and evergreen shrubs planted strategically around the yard will cast shade for your canine pal to relax on hot summer days and prevent overheating.
To learn more about your landscaping or fencing options, be sure to contact local chain link fence contractors before making your final selection.