Dogs need time to play to be happy and healthy. When deciding the layout of your outdoor space, consider pet-friendly backyard landscaping. This will allow both you and your dog to have an area that is enjoyable to spend time in as you de-stress from hectic day-to-day life. With a little planning, you can have a yard that is both a showpiece and pet-friendly.
With pets, safety needs to be your first consideration. Be sure to provide a way to keep your pet from wandering out of the yard and keep wildlife from wandering in. Fences come in a wide variety of designs and materials, making it easy to find a style that matches the overall feel of your yard. If you have a curious pet that wants to see everything going on in the neighborhood, create a viewing option with clear plastic so he doesn’t try jumping, yet can keep track of those walking or driving by.
Check with the ASPCA for a list of plants that are toxic to pets and avoid using those whenever possible. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a garden. Consider including raised beds or a vertical garden and plant ornamental grasses that can withstand your dog wandering through them on their adventures.
Speaking of adventures, dogs love exploring. Creating a path for him or her to wander around will keep them entertained. Keep in mind that different breeds of dogs prefer wandering in different patterns. If you have a breed for guarding, they’ll be happier with a path that goes around the outside of the yard. A hunting breed will prefer a winding path with tall grasses or bushes. By taking these into account, there is a better chance your dog will stay on a path, rather than running through your prized plants.
Providing a shelter for your pet will allow them not only a place to go where they always feel safe but will also will help protect them from rain and the hot sun. Make this “safe area” a place where they can rest, find a drink and do “pet duties.” You might want to consider providing male pets with a marking post that can be designed to fit in with the yard decor, such as driftwood, as their own personal fire hydrant. Pet-friendly backyard landscaping doesn’t mean everything needs to be human-approved!
Not all pets enjoy the water but if yours does, adding a water feature to your yard will please both of you. A pond or fountain is ideal, be sure to avoid koi or water plants that could be destroyed by your dog. Be sure to keep it shallow enough so your pet can get out easily as well.
These are a few ways pet-friendly backyard landscaping can be incorporated into your life. When planning, take your pet’s personality and likes into consideration. As a final element, don’t forget an open area where they can run, jump and play!