Having a backyard as a dog owner can be a game changer. Yards offer dogs an outdoor place to have to their own, and they make simple potty trips much easier for you. If there is any downside to having a backyard as a dog owner, it would be that they can make proper walks much less frequent. Most dog owners know that in order to keep their dog healthy, they need regular exercise and walks. Here are our top tips for encouraging your dog to play in the yard and stay healthy.

Keep it clean and poop free

A no brainer, but worth mentioning, that no one, not you and not your dog, wants to step in “it” mid play. Keep your yard poop free to maximize play. There are professional services throughout most of the country who can assist with this if you don’t want to do the dirty work. Beyond just keeping the yard poop free, short cut grass will also help encourage your dog to play more in the yard.

Train Them to Play Fetch

You’ve probably been there before with your dog…you throw a ball or a toy, your dog takes off after it, catches it, and then just drops it without retrieving it. You’re then the one who is retrieving it for yourself. Fetch is one of the very best ways to get plenty of backyard play in with your dog, but it also is a game that requires some training. Start training your dog early on to retrieve balls and toys, reward them with heaps of praise and treats when they do, and soon you’ll both be enjoying a game of fetch without you doing all the work!

Get a Second Dog

While your dog will love its yard play with you, it would much prefer to be playing with another dog. When dogs are socialized properly they can really enjoy the company of other dogs. With a second dog, they’ll chase each other around the yard all on their own without you needing to encourage the play. If a second dog isn’t in your future, you can always ask a neighbor without a yard if their pup is looking for some playtime.

While you’re working on these tips with your dog, remember how fortunate you are as a dog owner to have a yard. If you’re looking for the best ways to design your backyard to be dog friendly, check out this helpful post.