When you’re a dog owner, there are certain measures you may want to consider with regards to your landscaping that will help to ensure an aesthetically pleasing yard for you and a safe, functional spot for Fido. Petscaping can take a little extra foresight but the result will be well worth the effort!
Dogs love grass, but they also contribute to its destruction. They are territorial, and will instinctively create paths or borders around the perimeter of your property. They may choose to dig holes near your fences, and of course, there’s the issue of their toxic output which leads to lawn discoloration. All-in-all, if you are both a dog owner and a grass-lover, you may want to consider hardier versions such as Kentucky blue grass or clover that will better withstand your pet’s active lifestyle. If you are open to other forms of landscaping, then hardscaping might be a more feasible alternative for you and your pets. Hardscaping materials like bricks, stones, or pavement can be visually striking as well as provide a sturdy surface on which your pets can play. Your pup won’t be able to dig holes or discolor your grass with this option and a lovely hardscaped patio area can provide you with a comfy spot to enjoy your outdoor time while keeping an eye on your four-legged friends!
Having a barricade between pets and the streets is a must for many. Depending on your dog’s personality, they may prefer being able to see what’s going on beyond the confines of the yard, so fencing like wrought iron or wooden slats can provide security as well as a little added entertainment for your pet. For some dogs, however, this can be triggering, so a solid wood fence might be the best solution. Solid fencing offers an added level of privacy compared to other options, which might be something you’re looking for in your outdoor spaces. For those who prefer the border a fence provides, but don’t enjoy the appearance of fencing, there are options like electric and portable GPS fencing, which helps to establish parameters for your pet without the need to construct physical barriers. Once you’ve settled on your yard parameters and how they play into your pet ownership, letting your dog freely establish their own paths and then installing stone walkways over those areas is a more aesthetically pleasing look than the alternative, which is worn down grass.
Eliminating the appeal of your landscaped areas as a potty place for your pet can be tricky. They tend to gravitate towards grassy areas, shrubs, and greenery in general. In addition to installing hardscapes, you might consider rock mulch around your perennials- just be sure to allow a little space between the rocks and the plant, as the rock mulch does get quite hot in the summer months. The rock will be less tempting for your pet than other coverings. Having a completely plant-free yard is probably not your preference, but hanging baskets, tall potted plants, or fenced-off gardens are all ways to keep your space looking vibrant and eliminate the temptation for your pets to get into your plants. It’s also a good idea to research what plants are pet-safe. Many are toxic if ingested. Take a look at this list for ideas on pretty and pet-safe plants.
Lastly, adding an area for designated dog “use” may be a good idea. Areas like these can be surfaced with materials like artificial turf. In this way you can train your dog to use it and overtime it will make the cleanup easier for you. A similar idea can be replaced with gravel or rock. For more information on these implementable potty areas check out: How to Build a Dog Potty Area.
There is a beautiful balance in having a space where your family can spend time outside during our fleeting Minnesota summers, as well as accommodate your furry friends, who are just as much a part of the family!