Here's a garden landscaping idea with a twist - why not turn your backyard into a play area for your pooch this summer?
Whether it's simply building a new and improved kennel or going all out with a dog run, follow these tips to pamper your puppy.
If you have enough space in your backyard, make the most of the room by designating a dog run area for your four legged friend. Start out by identifying an area you don't mind giving up for you dog - it could be a part of the yard that runs alongside your house, or a piece of backyard that doesn't get used.
Think about the material you want used on the dog run. If you're happy to leave it grassed, just remember that dogs tend to rip up the lawn so this area may not stay pristine for long! Alternatively, lay down wood chips to help keep the dog's paws clean while covering up muddy surfaces. Sand is another great option here.
Fence in the area at a height that is just high enough to contain the dog, but still allows you to peer inside and watch what it's doing. If you like to spoil your furry friend, you could build a roof over the run for when it rains.
Outdoor dogs should have a kennel to protect them from harsh weather conditions and give them a place to feel at home in. You can build your own out of sturdy wood, either from a kitset or completely from scratch if you're handy with a hammer.
Make sure the kennel is properly enclosed to keep rain from leaking in, and also provide adequate sun protection. A good spot for a kennel is under a shady tree or awning, as if it's placed in direct sunlight it can lead to your animal overheating. A sheltered spot will also reduce wind chill for your dog in the cooler months.
Make sure you fit the kennel with a rug or pillow to ensure it is as comfortable as possible. As dogs age their bones need extra care, so a soft place to lie down is essential.
Finally, ensure there is always a source of water near your dog's kennel and play areas.