Landscaping a yard is daunting enough in itself without having to take pets into consideration. To many, however, to disallow one's dog from entering his or her yard for fear of what it could "do" to it would be like telling one's child that he or she is forbidden from the yard on a summer day. While a consultation with Cesar Millan may, in fact, be necessary for your particular canine, there are some things that you can do to ensure your yard is as dog-friendly as possible before you bring in the dog behavioural expert!
1. Think like a canine: As you begin your planning, try to get inside your dog's head. You know your pet better than anybody. What would your particular dog appreciate in a backyard space? A spaniel will have different preferences than a terrier or a retriever, simply due to their different personalities.
2. Create a shady retreat: Just like you, your dog may love basking in the sun. However, after a certain period of time, our dogs will tire of the sun, and, for their health's sake, will need a cooling retreat. Consider an arbour, the shade of a bush or tree, or a deck out of the sun's reach.
3. Paths to run and patrol: Dogs need exercise; paths give them a designated space to do it as well as a venue to perform their perceived job -- to patrol your property line. If you can, consider sacrificing a few feet along the fence for a perimeter, or take note of their presently well-worn paths through the garden and turn them into proper pathways. You can create a 3-foot-wide clearance by planting a screen that is aesthetically pleasing to you and your pet!
4. Give them shelter: While your dog may not resent sharing your pergola, deck, or patio with you, why not create a shelter for your special dog? With some creativity, a great doghouse can even add to the visual appeal of your backyard. Need some inspiration? 12 creative doghouses
5. Keep them safe: You may have an escape artist on your hands that looks an awful lot like a dog, so you may need to install an underground barrier made of rebar, chicken wire, or poured concrete.
6. Access to water: Whether it's access to his water bowl, a tap on the house, or a pond, access to water is crucial for Rex.
7. Dining area: Instead of that giant bag of Beneful getting dragged all over the yard because your version of a feeding station has meant storing the bag outside of your back door, consider the ultimate well-being of your dog, the well-being of your pocketbook, and the visual appeal of your yard and consider a feeding station. This could involve Rover's food bowl on a little stand, keeping the area neat, and his food high and dry.
8. Lookout platform: If you plant landscaped areas densely, dogs will generally stay out. Still, most dog owners recommend additional precautions: Plant in raised bed or on mounds, and start with 1-gallon or larger plants. Put up temporary fencing around newly-landscaped areas; when you remove it, add a rock border or low fencing as a reminder to stay out. Plant romp-proof shrubs and perennials like ornamental grasses around the edge of the garden. Put brittle plants in the center where they'll be protected.
9. Easy access: Consider whether your dog can access your space if you'd like him or her to be able to. Think about whether a dog door would be practical in your space.
10. Consider Earth Smart Solutions: We take pride in the fact that our products are not only people-friendly, but pet-friendly as well. Browse our shop for your flora, fauna, lawn, fruit and veggie garden, and pond needs. If it goes in your backyard, we can ensure that it will flourish at the expense of no one - you OR your pet!