How to Create a Dog-Friendly Landscape

DogYou love your beautiful yard, and you love your awesome dog. Unfortunately, the two of them don’t seem to mix so well sometimes.

Dogs can fill a beautiful lawn with waste, dig up holes, eat valuable plants, and run off to chase the neighbor’s cats. It’s enough to make some dog owners throw up their hands and elect to keep Fido inside unless he’s own his leash.

Fortunately, you can design your landscape to work around this problem. The key is to design a landscape that works for you and for your dog.

Create a Designated Potty Area

Nothing destroys a yard faster than having to watch where you step every time you go outside. But a dog’s got to go when a dog’s got to go, so designate a potty area. You can do this by piling cedar chips into an out-of-the-way corner. You can even use an old tree stump to offer a marking post to make it even more attractive.

You can’t just fix-it and forget-it, however. You have to train your dog to use this zone once you’ve created it!

Add Dog Runs

Your dogs love to run repetitive paths around and around your yard. This can be hard on your grass, so you might as well create pleasant paths that match your dog’s most common run-arounds.

Usually these paths will run around the perimeter of your property, but watch your dog for a few days just to be sure. Placing the paths on your dog’s normal routes is the key to success.

Add Water and Shade

Your dog needs water and shade to stay comfortable and safe outside. Try a water feature that soothes you while hydrating your dog.

As for shade, why not put up a pergola? You and your dog can relax and enjoy your yard together. In fact, we just installed a pergola in Wauwatosa for this very reason–the owner wanted to enjoy some time outdoors with his dog!

Add Places for Your Flowers to Live

You don’t want your dog to dig up your flowers? Put them a bit out of reach by placing them in raised beds. There are many creative ways to use raised beds that do not at all detract from the beauty and tranquility of your landscaping.

Create a Poison-Free Environment

Remember, some plants and mulches are dangerous to pets. For example, cocoa mulch has the same chemical which makes chocolate so dangerous to dogs. Certain plants, like irises, are also toxic.

Weed often, because some weeds are just as dangerous as some flowers.

Why not put in some plants that will actually help your dog out? Mint and lavender serve as flea repellents for example, and this will mean you spend less time with the flea comb and shampoo, too.

Consider organic weed and pest control methods. Chemicals may not hurt your pet in the short-term, but many of them can cause cancers in the long run.

Build a Way to Keep it All Contained

You don’t want to go through all of this only to find your dog three blocks down the street tearing up someone else’s yard! Consider installing a brand new fence. It will be the perfect finishing touch on your pet-friendly yard.

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