Dogs and cats are by and large designed for the outdoors
notes Rosie Barclay, Chairperson of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors in the UK, yet many pets are missing out on their daily dose of Vitamin D because gardens may not be adapted to their needs. The biggest risks for dogs include fences that can easily be dug under to make a great escape. Dogs are naturally curious and will want to join in on the action in the street. Keeping them safe and snug while ensuring your dog-friendly garden remains a stylish expression of your taste may be a challenge, but nothing is impossible!
Dog-Friendly Garden Tips
Fencing Fido In
To avoid escapes, paving may be necessary. When your fence sits directly atop soil, dogs can quickly dig themselves a hole out of your garden. Another choice is to plant a sturdy hedge between the fence and the grass. You can also place large cement pots (think long rectangular pots that cover the length of the fence) and fill them with beautiful flowers or simple plants. Make sure the fence posts are close to each other as well. Dogs can suffer bites when posts are widely spaced and other pooches can stick their heads in through the gaps.
Choosing the Right Plants
If you have bought a home with a sizeable landscaped garden and you aren’t quite sure as to which species are thriving there, get the help of a gardener, who will be able to help you identify potentially toxic plants. Just a few you should avoid include aloe, daffodils, yucca, amaryllis, and chrysanthemum. Replace with dog-friendly choices like spider plants, African violets, and impatiens.
Building a Doggie Pond
If you have an ample garden, one of the best ways to fill up extra space is by building a small dog pond. You can go small budget (building your pond with tyres) or large-scale (by having professional pool constructors create your doggy pool). Some of the cutest pools have a very ‘natural’ look to them, with natural stone framing the pool and gorgeous plants lending the space an almost tropical feel. Of course, the pool should be covered by a parasol on sunny days, so dogs can lie in the cool water without getting sunburned.
If price isn’t an issue, you can also build a thatched roof construction adjacent to the pool. This way, when your doggy gets tired of soaking, he can make his way to the wooden decked resting area to have a nap. Keep the area clean by choosing plants that do not shed too many leaves in autumn. If you already have tall trees that give the family welcome shade, you can practice damage control by keeping gutters free of leaves.
A Tiny House for Spot
There are so many cute tiny house ideas for dogs these days. You don’t have to have a traditional doggy house to ensure your dog has a lovely shady place to rest. Some trendy gardens now have faux hills made with artificial turf, brick/stone, and soil. Brick is laid around large pipes and the construction is covered in grass and surrounded by soil. The effect is akin to a mini hobbit house, with the pipe forming a nice cool area for dogs on sunny days. Just think of a way to create an arch or narrow cylindrical resting space that can serve the same purpose and let your creative juices flow. If you know a good landscaper, run your ideas by them to see if any improvements can be made.
The above contains just a few ideas to make your garden more than just a place for plants to grow. Dogs love being outside to catch a few rays, keep their eye on the neighbourhood, and hang around and play with the family (human or canine). You can go full luxury on your projects or take a DIY approach. Whatever you do, don’t feel constrained by traditional ideas of what a garden should be. Instead, make it what you want it to be.
What’s your favourite dog-friendly garden tip?