Dogscaping—How to Design a Dog-Friendly Landscape
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If you’re a dog owner designing a new landscape, you might not have realized how important it is to factor their needs into your backyard plans. Avoiding toxic plants, providing adequate shade and adequate fencing are just some of the things to consider when you’re creating a dog-friendly landscape. Proper planning now can prevent complications later.

Plant Selection: Even the most well-mannered dog can chew on your plants once in a while, so it’s best to take steps to ensure that they won’t be ingesting anything poisonous if it happens. Some important ones to avoid are dahlias, aloe, periwinkle, hyacinth and garlic. If you’re unsure if a plant is safe, check with your veterinarian or the ASPCA website.

Sun Protection. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to sunstroke and sunburn. If your dog spends the majority of the day outside, consider planting shade trees, installing patio covers or even getting them their own doghouse.

Drinking Water. It is important to your dog’s health to have unlimited access to water when they’re outdoors. A water feature or an auto-refilling dog fountain can ensure that your pup has continuous access to cool, fresh water.

Entertainment. By planning for some entertainment features, you can actually prevent your dog from causing damage to the rest of your yard. One particularly fun idea is to create a digging pit. After digging a small pit, place several toys or chews in it and cover with sand or mulch. When they have their own special area to dig, they will actually avoid digging in the off-limits spaces.

Perimeter Control. A dog-friendly landscape must include adequate fencing. Whether you prefer an electronic fence or a physical barrier, you need something to ensure dogs don’t endanger themselves by escaping.

On The Lookout. Your dog likes to be on watch, so why not build them their own lookout spot? Adding high rock or hill to your dog-friendly landscape allows him to satisfy his protective instincts while keeping an eye out for rabbit and squirrel invaders.

Pathways. You may have noticed that your dog patrols the same path daily, wearing down the grass in that area. Rather than trying to dissuade them, create a dog-friendly landscape by building an actual path with pavers or wood mulch.

A Place To Do Their “Business”. Create a designated “potty area” in your dog-friendly landscape, and train your dog to use it exclusively. Ideally, it should be removed from foot traffic and covered with a material that allows for easy removal of solid waste like hard sand, soft pebbles or decomposed granite.

A dog-friendly landscape doesn’t just benefit your dog; it gives you peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected while your dog has fun.

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