Life doesn’t always proceed in the perfect order. Sometimes you secure your first job before you’re ready to graduate or find your dream home before you have a partner with whom to share it. Managing your new dog isn’t any easier.
Perhaps you always intended to fence-in your backyard prior to pursuing dog ownership … then, that black Labrador or beagle pup fell comfortably into your lap and won you over. You were just browsing rather than truly looking, yet your dog ambitions came to fruition quickly and unexpectedly.
Whether taking in an elderly family member’s displaced dog, rescuing a needy canine from a local shelter, or being smitten by an adorable pup, the fact is you are now that dog’s caretaker, and you’re responsible for managing your new dog. Plans change and temporary measures are needed.
As you sit on your fencing contractor’s waiting list, or await the arrival of spring in order to complete the fence installation yourself, you must cope with the reality that you’ll need to accompany your new dog outside constantly, especially if housebreaking remains a work-in-progress.
Here are five tips for managing your new dog in your temporarily-fenceless environment:
1. Managing Your New Dog With Twice-Daily Walks
Along with feeding time, walks represent the highlight of a dog’s day. Few activities elicit more excitement from your dog (or that heartbreaking look of sadness on the occasion when a walk must be skipped). In addition to offering your dog healthy exercise and routine, walking helps reduce outbreaks of mischief within the home.
While the frequency and duration of walking needs varies based on breed and age, it’s generally recommended to take your dog on two walks of at least 15 minutes each day (morning and evening). In the case of a particularly active dog that lacks access to a fenced yard, though, a third daily walk around lunchtime may prove necessary.
2. Coordinate a Schedule
When furnishing your dog with exercise and outdoor time requires more than simply opening the door and letting him out into a fenced yard, the entire family should contribute. Breathing in the great outdoors, after all, offers universal health benefits that even your spouse or children can enjoy.
Create a schedule by which each member of your household shares responsibility for managing your new dog. Proper coordination involves catering to everyone’s daily schedule, working around job and school obligations to ensure your dog’s exercise needs are never neglected.
3. Dog Park Visits
If your dog were capable of selecting his favorite destinations away from home, chances are your local dog park would sit atop his list. It’s no surprise that dog parks present an ideal substitute for letting your dog burn some steam when a fenced yard is not available.
In essence, a dog park affords you the opportunity to borrow a fence for the sake of your ever-energetic canine and get a little help with managing your new dog. Unleashed and ready to romp, your dog will not only receive ample exercise but also a valuable opportunity to interact with his pooch peers.
4. Borrow from a Neighbor
Speaking of borrowing, in all likelihood one of your friendly neighbors sports a beautiful wooden fence. Is it unreasonable to request to make occasional use of this structure? We think not.
Arrange for both households’ dogs to have “play dates” within your neighbor’s fenced-in yard. In exchange for your neighbor’s hospitality, offer to provide supervision of both dogs. Of course, this plan is contingent upon your dogs getting along.
5. Alternative Forms of Stimulation
Even when you lack a fenced-in yard, your arsenal can boast numerous strategies for occupying your dog’s time and commanding his energy. Adequate mental and physical stimulation can arise from chew toys, food puzzles, and leashed outdoor play, among other sources.
A fence is in your future, but in the meantime, there are myriad possibilities to managing your new dog properly without one, while promoting his health and well-being. Sometimes a perceived out-of-order approach turns out to be sufficiently orderly after all.