Since people are becoming more aware of the harmful effects of mass production of meat and dairy, some of them are leaving behind the normal city lifestyle. Homesteading is a great way to live more freely and enjoy life at a different pace. Along with chickens, cows, pigs, and other agricultural animals, dogs are just a part of the experience.
Whether you’ve got a dog already, or you’re looking to get one specifically for your homestead, there are some things you should keep in mind.
1. Protect Your Chickens
Since dogs have an instinctual prey drive, some breeds more than others, it’s only natural for some dogs to want to chase chickens and other small animals that you may have on your homestead. Sometimes they go a little too far and end up killing your fowl.
Give your hens a good sized, fenced off area where your dog won’t be able to dig under, or jump over it. Ideally, it’s best to set up a roof for your chickens to protect them from predatory animals anyway. Chickens are known as “birds of prey,” and they’re hunted by everything from snakes to other birds. It’s no wonder why some canines might also be interested in them.
2. Keep Your Dog Out of Neighboring Properties
Possibly the greatest part of having your own little patch of land is that you can let your dog roam free. Sadly, some dogs roam too far and end up in a neighbor’s yard, and can even be tragically shot. Generally, the law works in neighbor’s favor if your pup is on someone else’s property.
Before you move in, or bring a dog, see if it’s possible to get to know your neighbors a little better. At the very least, try to let people know that you do have a dog and give a description. That way they won’t assume it’s a stray if your pet does happen to escape from your yard.
3. Your Dog May Dig Up Your Garden Without a Barrier
We all know how much dogs love to dig, and it’s usually not a desired trait among most pets owners. This is especially true when the garden you’re tending is meant to provide you and your family with food for the coming weeks. However, when your pup sees you digging up dirt and keeping all the fun to yourself, they just can’t help themselves.
As you would with your hens, give your garden its own, special closed-off space where other animals can’t get to it. Not only because of digging, but also because some garden plants can be toxic to dogs. Certain kinds of…