Just like babyproofing, dog-proofing your new construction home is a thing. It’s actually kind of a really important thing. Fortunately, most people do indeed dog-proof their home. But what about the backyard?

The backyard is arguably most dogs favorite “room” to be in. And why shouldn’t it be? Space for running and playing, DIRT (need we say more?), fresh air, dog “friends” to converse with over the wall. However, it’s important to make sure that your dog’s favorite space is also friendly to him.

Double check all plants that are in your backyard. Dogs are not always discerning about what goes into their mouth and there are several common Arizona plants that can be poisonous for dogs to ingest. Some of the more common ones are: Mexican Poppy, Bird of Paradise, Hydrangea, Oleander, Honeysuckle, and Wisteria. Check Google for a complete list of Arizona plants that are poisonous to dogs. Also, maintain landscaping. Loose thorns and burrs can become embedded into the soft pads of your dog’s feet causing discomfort and pain.

Ensure that your backyard fencing is secure with no gaps or low spots through which your dog can escape. By the same degree it is a good idea to make sure that your dog is not able to scale your fence (we’re looking at you Labradors).

If you have a pool in your backyard, make sure your dog knows where the steps are to get in and out. The best precaution is to have a fenced swimming pool. Even though most dogs can swim, accidents still happen.

Make sure your furry friends have water and shade in your backyard. This is Arizona. We all know how important it is to drink enough water and stay out of the sun. Unlike us, dogs don’t have the luxury of wearing shoes on their paws so its important that they have something other than concrete and rocks to walk on to avoid burning their pads.

Let’s keep our furry friends safe and happy at home!