The National Gardening Survey indicates that Americans are gardening more than ever before creating beautiful green spaces for relaxation. Unfortunately, having both dogs and a lovely garden is not always a match made in heaven and you may soon find yourself with non-existent flowerbeds and a dug-up lawn. Luckily, all hope is not lost as you can make your garden more dog friendly with just a bit of added effort. Here are a few useful tips that will allow you to maintain a beautiful garden while also seeing to the needs of your dog.
Ensure there is Plenty of Shade
As much as your pooch may enjoy running around in the garden, it is essential that they also have a shady place to relax in. Dogs often indicate that they are in need of a cool spot by digging a hole and simply laying down in it. By providing more shade, you could also eliminate what appears to be a digging problem. You can create a shaded oasis in your garden by planting shade-giving trees and shrubs, installing a pergola or awning, or adding a dog house in a cooler area of the garden. Also, remember to make sure your dog always has access to fresh drinking water while out in the garden.
Avoid Poisonous Plants
Although most of them will look very pretty in your garden, there are a number of plants to be mindful of as they can cause illness or even death if ingested by your dog. According to research conducted at the University of California, some of the most dangerous plants to dogs include aloe vera, all amaryllis species, daffodils, lilies, and philodendrons. These, along with 7 other plant species, are responsible for the most visits to the University vet. While you do not need to avoid planting these plants altogether, it is important that every effort is made to ensure that they are inaccessible to your beloved dogs.
Consider Artificial Turf
The days of having to resign yourself to having an unsightly lawn thanks to the shenanigans of your dogs are long over. While there are a number of precautions you can take to prevent your dog from digging up your garden, investing in artificial turf may turn out to be an even better solution. By opting for quality, non-toxic synthetic grass you can bid foul odors, dirt, and unattractive discoloration farewell. When picking your artificial turf, opt for one that was engineered and designed with dogs in mind; in other words, artificial turf can withstand your dog’s running and overall activity. You can’t go wrong with picking artificial turf that sports TurboFlo technology that allows for maximum drainage and reduced odor and bacteria build-up.
Raised Beds are a Great Idea
Raised beds can be a great addition to a dog-friendly garden, especially if your dog is prone to digging holes. These beds can also be used if you want to grow sensitive plants or fruit and vegetables that you do not want your dog to ruin. They are also perfect if you want to keep potentially harmful plants away from your pets. You can make your raised beds as low or as high as you want, depending on your dog’s jumping abilities and your own comfort levels. If your dog is a serial jumper, you may want to put some fencing or netting around your raised beds to make them even more pooch-proof.
Build Your Own Agility Course
Regular exercise is as important to your dog’s well-being as it is to your own. In addition to taking your best friend for regular walks, why not build an agility course in your garden as well? You can incorporate a large variety of elements for your dog to enjoy such as balance beams, tunnels, and jumps. Even if your pet has never done an agility course before, you shouldn’t need more than a bit of coaxing to get them fully invested. You can purchase all the elements of your agility course or choose to make them yourself as far as possible. When opting for a DIY course, make sure that it is free of any sharp and rough edges that can cause an injury and only use pet-friendly paint.
How About a Doggy Splash Pool?
If you live in an area where it gets particularly hot during summer, you might want to provide your dog with an additional way to stay cool by installing a splash pool. There are a number of options you can choose between, depending on the size of your yard, the size of your dog, and your budget. If you want an extravagant splash pool, opt to have a shallow cement pond with a filtration system installed. For a more budget-friendly solution, buy a cheap hard plastic kiddies pool and set it a few inches into the ground for added stability. Don’t allow the water to sit in the pool when it is not in use as it may not only become a breeding ground for mosquitoes but a safety hazard for young children as well.
Making your garden more dog-friendly can be a fun project to tackle. It will also result in your being able to keep your garden looking beautiful without depriving your dog of the joy of playing outside.