Monday, April 25, 2011
Landscaping for Dogs
If you are like me and love a dog (or two) - there can be some gardening drama! Here are a few ideas about how to design your yard to be dog, and gardener friendly! We all know it is a hard trick to establish with a chewing, digging, eliminating animal in your yard. Find a way to enjoy your yard space together with that puppy in your life.
Tip #1- Establish a "dog area" in your yard! Make sure it is a large enough area the dog can roam free a little and find some fun things to add to make it a comfortable place for your dog to be. Make sure the area has shade for your dog house and a place where they can drink (a fountain or small pool for drinking/swimming depending on what your dog likes is fun to try). My dogs are both Labs as you can see, so I plan to add a small pool/water feature that they can swim and cool off in the hot Utah summers. I let my dogs out of the dog area at least once a day to run/play or go on a walk but the main area for pottying is in the dog area! You can also place a water outlet in the area with a lick-spout attached for clean fresh water. There are so many good drinking ideas!! Another, if your dog is really posh is to place a mister on your hose (on a timer) that will mist the dog area a few times a day in the hottest hours. What more can a dog really want?
Tip #2- Does your dog love to dig? Make a place in the dog area your dog CAN dig without getting in trouble... Add a pile of dirt and even bury a bone or treat every once in a while to show the dog where she is allowed to dig. It also helps in training them, if you catch them digging somewhere else to bring them to that spot and say "dig!"
Tip #3- Create stepping stone paths in the naturally worn paths your dog makes (usually along the fence line of your home). This will eliminate unsightly dog paths in the lawn and help your dog keep their natural territorial instincts without getting into trouble.
Tip #4- Make sure you don't have poisonous plants in your yard that could harm your dog. For a list of poisonous plants check the link below.
Tip #5- Find suitable ground cover for your "dog area." A lot of dog owners use wood chips or heavy mulch instead of lawn because of the damage dog urine does to your turf. I use a combination of both because I don't mind re-seeding a few spots every spring... Use your preference- but please find a way to make it look attractive. Add a cute fire-hydrant planter, some hardy perennials, or some flowering shrubs. Landscaping for dogs can be a lot of fun!!