Creating A Dog-Friendly Yard in Chicago

Dog on the grass

From the suburbs to downtown, Chicago is definitely a dog-friendly city. Our four-legged friends provide companionship and encourage us to get outdoors for daily walks. We need to return the favor by making sure they have a safe outdoor space for them. Check out these tips on creating a dog-friendly yard in Chicago:

Establish A Perimeter


Good fences make great neighbors and good dogs. A secure boundary keeps your dog safe and keeps neighbors safe from the unwelcome advances of even the friendliest dog. There are plenty of styles to choose from including wire, wood, and metal. Make sure to build a fence that’s tall enough so your dog can’t climb over it or dig under it. Put a lock on the gate so uninvited guests can’t come in.

For those larger backyards, consider dedicating a smaller part of the yard to the dog. This will keep other areas are free from dog poop. These smaller portions can be a second fence or some kind of barrier that prevents dogs from having full reign over the entire backyard. You can also train your dog to use one area to do his business. Make sure you water that area often since Spot’s spots can leave brown patches on your lawn.

Provide Some Shelter


Chicago summers can be sweltering while winters are very cold. Providing shelter for your dog is a must to keep him healthy and happy. If you don’t want to add a dog house, make sure there’s a shade tree or picnic table he can crawl under. Adding heated beds and pads to dog houses in the winter helps keep them warm on the coldest of nights. Even if your dog doesn’t live outdoors all the time, it’s a good idea to have some sort of shelter for them.

Access to Water


Abundant access to fresh water is an integral part of creating a dog-friendly yard. A large bucket or tub can hold many gallons for larger dogs. Using a bigger water dish will keep you from having to refill the bucket daily. In the winter, make sure to switch to a heated water bowl that can sit inside the dog house for access to fresh water. Make sure your dog can’t tip the bowl over accidentally. This can keep dogs from getting the water they need and cause dehydration.

Landscape with Safe Plants


Some plants can be toxic to animals while others possess hazards thorns. Popular varieties like tulips, azaleas, and daffodils can harm your precious pooch. Daisies, carnations, and geraniums are also a big no-no. Make sure to only plant those varieties in the backyard that you know are safe for your dog. Sunflowers, marigolds, and Herbs such as sage, thyme, and cilantro are fine. Removing any plants that your dog can’t leave alone. If you can’t move a prized plant, create a barrier around it to keep it and the dog safe from harm.

Need help with pet-friendly lawn care maintenance? Visit the Chicago lawn care page to get in touch with a professional.

Keep Them Busy


Most dogs, especially puppies, love to chew! You’ll find bored dogs become destructive dogs in the backyard. Get some heavy duty chew toys for the yard that will help encourage your pooch to leave the outdoor furniture alone. Other options include limiting the dog’s access to landscaping if they are prone to digging. Playing with your dog several times a day will help keep them occupied.

Providing your dog with a safe space, shelter, and fresh water are the basics of a dog-friendly yard. Consider all these tips when creating a dog-friendly yard in Chicago.

Brenda Ryan

Brenda Ryan

Brenda Ryan is a former content director for LawnStarter. She is a former radio newscaster and journalist. In her free time she enjoys traveling, gardening, visiting wineries, reading, and playing trivia games in her home state of Colorado.