Is my Yard Big Enough to Have a Dog?

Having enough outdoor space surrounding your home, and regular vet visits are just some of the many important considerations potential pet owners think of before they add a dog their families. Although yards are beneficial to many dogs, they may not necessarily be required depending on the size of your pet. You will also want to consider your personal lifestyle habits, as they can directly impact your dog's need for an outdoor living space. If you do decide that your yard is sufficient enough for your dog to roam around in, there are some precautionary measures you should take to ensure the safety of your furry friend.

Exercise Needs

Big yards are inviting to all pets, but the actual size you need partially depends on the type of dog that you have. A large dog will not be as comfortable in a smaller yard, and it may not be safe if it is not secure enough. Certain breeds and personalities also mesh well with bigger yards because of the additional space.

Pet owners often have the misconception that they need to have big yards in order for their dogs to get exercise. Although your dog might run around the yard, chances are that he or she may end up relaxing when outside. Dogs tend to be more active when they are interacting with other animals or humans, so letting your furry friend loose outdoors will not guarantee an adequate workout.

Having a big yard might work as a backup plan if your dog needs a supplemental form of exercise; however, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that your pet gets in adequate daily workouts. The best way to accomplish this is rather simple: you need to walk your dog. Dog owners who are avid walkers tend to follow through with this easier, so if you do not exercise regularly, this might be a good opportunity to start trying for the sake of both you and your dog's health.

Safety of the Yard

Not only is it important to consider the actual size of your yard before you let a dog loose outside, but there are other safety measures you will need to take as well. One of the first places to start is the perimeter of the yard. Fences are not as common in some neighborhoods, but they are essential if you plan on letting your dog roam your yard. Unfortunately, even the most trained dogs can get distracted and run away from your property, which can lead to significant injuries. Make sure that any fence you put up is high enough so that a pet cannot jump over it--you will also want to discourage your dog from attempting to do so. If you cannot put up a physical fence, you might instead consider an invisible one that will prohibit a dog from going beyond your home.

Regular yard maintenance is an ideal way to help ensure that your pet will be safe outside, especially during times when you cannot be at home. Make sure that the grass is cut regularly, and that there is no vegetation that can potentially harm your pet. You will also want to be on the look-out for ant hills, wasp nests and any other types of insects that can hurt your dog. Generally, the bigger the yard you have, then the more work it will take to maintain. If you honestly feel that you cannot keep up outdoor work on a regular basis, then it might be best to keep your dog inside for his or her safety.

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