- Build a doggy play area.
Mark it off with wood or iron fencing, or cement or stone blocks.
The idea isn’t to confine your dog in the area, but just to delineate it.
Lay down soil and perhaps some sand, and cover the area with leaves, wood or bark chips, or some other type of mulch (but not cocoa bean mulch).
To encourage your dog to use his play area, while he’s watching bury a favorite toy -- maybe a treat-release puzzle filled with snacks -- just beneath the surface. Encourage him to find it.
Bury a few more toys right beneath the surface while he’s watching and then let him dig them up.
Next bury a couple of toys while he isn’t looking, then take him to his play area and encourage him to find them.
With repeated exposure and a little luck, your dog will learn the area is his. If he’s a digger, hopefully you’ve given him incentive to limit his digging to his own ‘yard.’
- To help your dog stay comfortable during the warm days of summer, and to prevent her from digging in soil looking for a cool place to rest, consider creating a cooling pit in your yard for your overheated canine companion.
Dig out a shallow area that’s big enough for your dog to lie comfortably in. Spread a thin layer of wet concrete in the depression as a liner. Before the concrete dries, drive a few screwdriver-size holes in the bottom to allow drainage.
Once the concrete is dry, cover it in about six inches of white playground sand. Keep the sand damp with water all summer long and your dog will love you for it. When she gets up from her spot, the sand will simply drop off as it dries.
- Another option for a way to keep your dog cool outdoors is a kiddy pool.
You want one that is made of sturdy, molded plastic rather than one you have to inflate. The sides of the pool should be low enough that your dog can get in and out of it easily.
You can also turn that kiddy pool into an in-ground pool by digging out an area to sit the pool in so that only an inch or two at the top is exposed. This protects the pool from damage, keeps it from becoming a chew toy or Frisbee when empty, and can enhance the look of your outdoor space.
The only drawback to the ‘in-ground’ pool is it’s more difficult to empty. You can bail it out, drain it with a siphon, or depending on where you live, let the water evaporate.
- Dogs routinely patrol the boundaries of their perceived territory, so do yourself a favor and don’t plant anything around the perimeter of your yard. Your dog will be free to patrol to her heart’s content and no plants will be sacrificed in the process.
Consider lining her pathway with greenery that feels good to puppy paws and also disguises worn areas right next to the fence or edge of your yard. You can use pine needles, leaves or other soft natural materials. Keep in mind that while stone, rocks or other hard surfaces are fine for human walkways, your dog prefers a softer surface.