Dog Friendly Gardens

We love our gardens and we love our pets.  Sometimes they are not harmonius.  The design and function of an outdoor space used solely by humans, may need some adaptations when you share it with a romping dog.  Here are a few tips to create dog friendly gardens that are a safe and comfortable environment for Fido and also an attractive space for plants and people.

Design around a dog’s needs, so he will be able to race around without injuring himself or trampling the flowers.  Hardscape areas should be “gentle”.  Smooth flagstones set in pea gravel can be used for walkways and patios.  Comfortable mulched areas are soft on paws.  Small chips won’t cling to silky coats like shredded mulch can.  All mulch will help control muddy paws in wet weather!

Plan some sort of border control using pieces of driftwood, boulders or low fencing to persuade your dog to stay out of planted beds.  Plants that area near paths should be sturdy with soft foliage, free from thorns.  Remember dogs will make their own paths, so work with their habits of movement through the yard.

Consider an exercise path next to fences for your dog to run.  Leave a two to three foot area free of plants.  You can plant a shrub screen to hide this.  Use mulch or pea gravel on the ground where the dog runs.  Working with the habits of a dog will make you both happier.  Establish a potty area in the yard and train your dog to use it.  Maybe give a male dog a marking post, like a sculptured piece of driftwood so he can mark his territory.

Provide shade and shelter.  This is a NO BRAINER, because you need this too!  Hang out together on a shady patio.

In short, a few special adaptations will create an outdoor space both dog and owner can enjoy together.  We all love a garden where we are free to romp and play!