How to Keep a Dog Entertained in the Yard
Just like humans, spending time outdoors is important for canines; in fact, it may be even more important for our four-legged best friends. Even though dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, they are still closely linked to their ancestors. Since ancestral canines lived among nature, domesticated dogs have a strong connection and desire to be outside. Plus, being outside gives them the opportunity to get the exercise that they need to stay strong and healthy, and it prevents them from getting bored. You’d probably end up getting pretty bored, too, if you spent all of your time inside.
While opening up the door and letting your dog run wild in your yard is certainly acceptable, you don’t want it to become a habit. Leaving him outside for long periods of time without specific activities or tasks could result in frustration and boredom, which could lead to the development of problematic behaviors; incessant barking, digging, breaking out of the fence, and running along the fence line (and destroying your lawn or garden in the process), for example.
So, how do you keep your dog entertained when he’s out in the yard? The trick is to provide him with activities that will keep him mentally and physically stimulated. Here are some great suggestions that will provide hours of outdoor entertainment.
CREATE A CHEW BIN
As mentioned, dogs have very strong instincts. One of those instincts is chewing.
Chewing helps relax canines, because, believe it or not, the action releases endorphins. Plus, chewing will help to strengthen his teeth and rub off plaque and tartar buildup. And, it’s just a great way to keep him occupied.
Fill up a bin with a nice selection of chew-friendly objects and toys. There are plenty of almost indestructible (we say almost because nothing is indestructible) toys available. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. Do, however, make sure that you clean and replace the toys as needed. Also, don’t let your pooch chew on anything that could be harmful, such as sticks, rocks, or bones.
BUILD A DIGGING BOX
If your dog loves to dig, give him a digging box. Think sandbox, but the sole purpose is digging. You can purchase a fabricated children’s sandbox or build a simple box (it doesn’t have to be professional quality, just sturdy and safe). Fill it up with sand and let your dog go to town! He’ll love it because, well, he’ll be able to dig in a dedicated spot where he won’t get in trouble. You’ll love it because your pooch won’t be digging up your lawn or flower beds.
MAKE A PUPPY SPLASH PAD
A lot of dogs love playing in the water; plus, on hot days, water is a great way to keep your pet cool and hydrated when he’s in the backyard. So, consider giving your furry friend his very own puppy water pad. You can purchase an automatic water fountain that is made specifically for canines, or connected a sprinkler to a timer. Your pup will have tons of fun splashing around, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that he’s safe, secure, and has protection from the heat.
AUTOMATIC FETCH MACHINES
Dogs love to play fetch, and an automatic fetch machine will let them enjoy playing fetch, even when you can’t toss the ball. These tools are exactly what they sound like; they’re automated devices that toss out balls so your dog can chase after them. Typically, they hold several balls, and all you have to do is replace them when they’ve all been launched.
Put any of these activities or toys into your backyard and your four-legged family member will surely be entertained.