Getting fit with your hound in your back garden is the perfect way for both dog and owner to stay active. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 56% of the dog population were classed as obese in 2017, so it’s essential you help your dog shed his excess weight. However, it can be a chore having to take your canine pal on a walk when you’ve had a long day at work. Thankfully, you can both lose the pounds and have fun by exercising together on your lawn. Although, when it comes to getting fit with your dog, it’s essential you ensure your lawn is pet friendly.

Clear up after the kids

If you’ve got children running around always ensure they tidy up after themselves and carry out a check yourself, too. Young kids have a habit of discarding toys, stones and anything else they’ve been playing with and this is where the real danger to your pooch lies. It’s in a dog’s nature to be inquisitive, therefore, your furry friend may have a chew on any item they come across in the backyard. Most children’s toys are made of plastic and will be easily bitten into by your pet’s sharp teeth. Foreign body ingestion accounted for more than $3.4 million in pet insurance claims in cats and dogs in 2015, according to Nationwide Pet Insurance, so, ensure you teach your children the importance keeping the lawn clear.

Watch what you leave out

It’s not just kids’ toys which are a hazard on your lawn. Tools, cables, paint tins and more all pose a risk to Fido. When you’re in the middle of painting the garden fence or replacing the blades on your lawnmower, it can be tempting to leave all your tools out while you nip indoors for a drink, but when your back is turned, your pooch may be nibbling on a sharp blade. It’s estimated that veterinary care will top $72.13 billion this year, therefore, to prevent injuries, never leave tools or sharp implements on your lawn. Avoid the risk of losing small nails and screws and similar items by laying a synthetic lawn which is dog friendly and will never need cutting.

Fallen food stuff

It’s common for birds to drop food pieces as they fly over your garden, but this foodstuff can be harmful to your pooch. Bird feed typically contains peanuts, sunflower seeds and maize and, while these aren’t known toxins to dogs, any new food can cause an episode of gastric intestinal upset. You should also be wary of fallen fruit from trees or bushes as peach and plum stones contain cyanide which can damage the intestines. Meanwhile, elderberry plants are extremely toxic and will hinder the digestive tract. For your hound’s sake, always make an effort to check and clear your lawn of these products before allowing your pet out to exercise.

The garden is a great place for both owner and dog to get fit together. However, lawns often contain hidden hazards which need to be removed to make it safe for your dog to play and exercise on. Always, be vary of items your kids may have discarded, never leave tools out and clear up as much food debris as possible.


About the Author: Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career as a veterinary nurse and has always been an animal lover –  but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she’s not writing, she volunteers for a number of local animal welfare charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after, including a sparky whippet called Charlie