Ideas for backyard landscaping with dogs can benefit both you and your four-legged friend.To the average dog, the backyard is their territory. They feel that they can do whatever they like in it…dig holes, uproot plants, run through mulch and make a mess. After all, they’re being dogs and simply following their natural instincts.
So how do you overcome the challenge of backyard landscaping with dogs as the proud parent of one of these curious, playful and sometimes rambunctious four-legged marvels?
Dog-proofing your yard doesn’t need to be difficult and there are ways for both you and your dog to be happy with the results. Highlighted here are 10 tips for having a beautifully landscaped backyard keeping that special member of your family in mind.
Backyard Landscaping with Dogs Starts Here
1. Consider Not Planting the Perimeter
A dog will always prowl around the perimeter of its enclosure. This means that any garden beds and plants will likely be investigated and possibly trampled. If your little friend is a male, he may even enjoy “fertilizing” your plants, which obviously you’d prefer to steer clear of.
Of course, when your dog hears a noise while in the yard, racing off to the extent of his or her boundaries kicks in with all attention focused on that curious sound. When your dog does this, no consideration or thought will be paid to whatever they’re standing on…even if it’s your prized daffodils. So when backyard landscaping, plan to leave open space or bedding gravel around areas your dog is likely to frequent the most.
2. Picking Plants is Important in Backyard Landscaping with Dogs
Some plants can be dangerous and even poisonous to dogs, particularly if your dog is partial to snacking on your greenery or shrub berries. Although most plants aren’t lethal to dogs, some can still cause illness or vomiting and that’s the last thing we want to see…our dog in distress. If there are plant species you’ve just got have but might not be agreeable to your dog, then ensure these are planted beyond the boundaries of his or her access.
For a list of plants that are toxic and non-toxic, when landscaping your yard with dogs in mind, visit the ASPCA link here.
3. Remember Digging When Backyard Landscaping with Dogs
It’s very difficult to train a dog not to dig when it’s their natural instinct to do it. Instead of stressing over the possibility of your dog digging up your meticulously cared for flower beds, create a special area in your yard where they can dig to their heart’s content.
You can entice them to this area by burying a favorite toy or bone. They will likely return again and again to the area of this treasure trove. When possible, choosing a shady area in backyard landscaping that will help your dog be more comfortable by not exposing them to the sun while digging.
4. Incorporate “Dog Space” into Your Design When Backyard Landscaping with Dogs
Because dogs like to roam around they thrive on plenty of room to exercise in. Providing space in your landscape plan for roaming or chasing birds and not closing in your yard with meandering gardens or shrubs, will help provide the room your dog needs to play and stay fit. Consider raised gardens that put your plants just out of a comfortable reach for your dog.
5. Herbs that Repel Fleas
Fleas are not only an irritation for your dog but for you as well. When backyard landscaping with dogs, consider planting any of the variety of herbs that repel fleas like Lavender, Pennyroyal (in the mint family) and Tansy (a perennial in the Astor family).
These are fragrant, colorful options that will not only benefit your dog but may be an attractive addition to your landscape as well.
6. Trade Chemical for Organic
We know chemicals can be dangerous to humans but they can also be quite detrimental to the health of your dog. In backyard landscaping for dogs, use organic, non-chemical based products in the care of your lawn and garden not only ensures the health of your dog but organic compounds are also a friend to the environment.
7. Landscape Water Features
If your landscape budget can support it, consider adding a water feature. Not only are they wonderful to look at but the sound of running water is relaxing. A water feature can provide the dual benefit of providing your dog with a cooling station in addition to being an attractive addition to your landscape. Something as simple as an outdoor rock fountain, which is easy for your dog to play in and around can help make a wonderful cooling off spot for your dog.
8. Create a Bathing Area When Backyard Landscaping for Dogs
Because it’s not practical to give your dog a bath in the house, many people perform this function outside in their backyard. However, with chemicals from the shampoo run-off heading into your garden, this could adversely the health of your plants and places your landscape efforts in this area at risk. Think about adding a separate bathing area away from your gardens and landscape to minimize their exposure. Your dog can stay clean without jeopardizing your landscape.
9. Is Your Dog Chewing on Plants?
If your vision calls for plants in a certain area of your backyard, but where your dog can still get to them, consider misting these plants with a mild cayenne pepper and water spray solution. While you may need to do this for a short time as it does wear off, your dog will likely get the hint that these plants are not for snacking and will stop. This mild misting will not harm your dog or your plants and will provide you with a little more flexibility in your landscape design planning.
10. Establishing Boundaries with a Wireless Fence
Depending on the shape and style of the landscape you wish to create, you always have the option of installing a dog wireless fence system. A cable is buried a few inches under ground, and a receiving collar is worn by your dog. Eventually, your dog will learn the boundaries of this fence, and remain inside it. A wireless fence for your dog can give you peace of mind by keeping your dog in the yard but can also save you the cost of adding expensive wood or ornamental fencing to your landscape budget.
Achieving a balance between your vision for a beautiful landscape and providing a healthy active environment for your dog is easier with these considerations when added as part of your landscape design planning. Doing a little due diligence by incorporating any or all of these tips into your design up front will save you costly repairs in having to redo areas of your landscape later.
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