Whether you live in the country or the city, your pets will love having their outdoor playground where they can play and exercise throughout the day. Creating an outdoor play area for your pet can be a lot of fun and can keep your furry friend entertained and active all year long. Some of the best outdoor pet playgrounds are nothing fancy, so long as they’re filled with stimulating toys, games, and activities that keep your dog or cat active and engaged with their environment.
If you’re interested in creating your pet playground but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading to learn eight tips for creating an outdoor pet playground that your furry friends will love to spend time in!
Keep It Healthy
To ensure that your pet stays healthy, you must give them access to a clean and fresh supply of water while they play outside. A bowl or two of freshwater will help ensure your pup stays hydrated in warm weather, but you should also consider adding another fun watering hole to their playground. Think about installing a dog-sized fountain in your backyard—many fountains are designed with pets in mind and come equipped with removable components that can be easily cleaned.
Consider Your Space
To create an outdoor space where pets can roam free and play, you’ll first need to consider your surroundings. Think about any possible hazards or risks that could be present on your property, then brainstorm ways you can prevent those dangers. Keep in mind that not all pets can enjoy a rigorous romp outdoors, so consider your pet’s age and health before installing anything too elaborate.
Add Obstacle Courses and Toys
If you’re like most pet owners, you’ve probably tried to incorporate some form of exercise into your pet’s day. While taking them on walks is great, they don’t always provide enough physical and mental stimulation. Try adding obstacles courses and toys to your yard or home, ensuring that they are safe yet challenging enough to keep your pet active. These obstacles will increase their physical activity and their intelligence as they explore new objects.
Provide Shade and Relaxation
A pet needs a place to escape heat and shade. Shade is essential for pets that are at home outdoors most of their day, especially since many don’t have fur coats to protect them from extreme temperatures. For dogs and cats, and even birds, create an area in your yard that gets plenty of shade throughout the day. Plant deciduous trees on one side of your pet play space to provide cooling shade during the summer months. If you find it difficult to grow trees or you already have but are not efficient in providing shade, there are tree care services that specialize in growing and maintaining your trees. They can also put one in your barren yard and help you make it grow. Another idea is to build structures that can serve as coverage; these structures can include gazebos and tents.
Include Comfortable Paths
If you’re starting to build your pet playground, don’t be afraid to invest in artificial turf or outdoor carpeting. This material is soft and comfortable under paws, especially on hot days when it may be too much for your pet to walk across the concrete. Make sure that whichever material you choose doesn’t allow plants to grow through—this will prevent grass and weeds from taking over your yard.
Make It Interactive
Interactive toys are great ways to keep your dog or cat mentally stimulated as well as physically fit. It encourages pets to use their instincts to chase, stalk, grab and tug, keeping them fit and reducing boredom at home. An interactive toy can also help ease separation anxiety in dogs who tend to feel left out when you’re not home; it provides them with an outlet for their excess energy while they wait for you to return. Plus, your pet will love seeing their favorite toy again and again!
Avoid Putting Sharp Edges and Toxic Plants
Pets love to explore and roll around outside. Make sure that they have plenty of space to run around, but be mindful of sharp edges and toxic plants, as some can cause major issues if ingested. Consider using protective wear like sweaters or padding if your pet is likely to pick up things from under bushes or dig up roots. Also, ensure you don’t use any harsh chemicals on your lawn or garden that could accidentally poison your pet.
Use What You Already Have
Instead of buying a brand-new set of exercise equipment, use what you already have around your house. You can purchase an inexpensive climbing rope and rig it over your trees or turn your dining room table into an indoor rock wall. Your pets will get plenty of exercise with these new toys.
While it’s easy to get excited about all the equipment you can purchase for your furry friend, make sure you take some time to consider their instincts first. A bored animal is more likely to develop bad habits or become aggressive. Provide enough space in your yard so that they have room to run around and play—but not so much space that they feel lost!