This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PawsToSavor #CollectiveBias These 8 Dog Friendly Ideas offers you several landscaping ideas for backyards with dogs. Also includes plants that are bad for dogs and some safe plants for dogs too!
We love our dogs and we know you do too, so with the warmer weather finally getting to New York, we’re all about yard work over here. But sometimes, it can be a real pain to design the garden of your dreams only to have Fluffy or Fido destroy it in minutes. Come on, we’ve all been there. I remember one time I spent a whole afternoon planting begonia bulbs and the second I went inside for a glass of water, my dog, Birdy, dug up the entire bed and was happily chewing on a begonia bulb when I came back out. I was not pleased…even though she looked insanely cute!
But with many years of being a dog owner under my belt, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to coexist with your beloved pets in the garden. So I am going to happily share some of my dog-friendly landscaping ideas with you. Now before you get too excited, there is no such thing as dog proof landscaping. Dogs are super smart and when they set their mind to something, there’s always a way for them to do it.
8 DOG FRIENDLY GARDEN IDEAS
1.) Don’t let your dogs be bored.
A bored dog is a naughty dog, so make sure you give your dog enough exercise each day. If you don’t want them running around the bac yard, then you will need to walk them a lot, so that they’re nice and tired for the rest of the day. A well-exercised dog is less likely to be bored, which means less idle time digging and chewing on things.
2.) Know the quirks of your dog’s breed.
This is an important one! Now don’t mind my sweeping generalizations, but to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let’s think of some more popular dog breeds. The Labrador Retrievers that my husband grew up all liked to play fetch, so having an abundance of tennis balls around was a necessity for them. One of English Setters likes to be in the water, so we keep a plastic kiddie pool in the yard for her on hot days. Our other setter loves to watch the birds, so we have a ton of birdfeeders worked into our garden design plans. My sister’s little King Charles Spaniel is a happy puppy after a long walk and then spends her days sunning herself on a beach towel.
3.) Set aside a special place that’s just for the dogs.
We have the “Poop Pit” in our backyard. There’s no need for specifics, really – it’s exactly as it sounds. However, there’s also a ton of space for them to dig and meander and just be dogs. I don’t care what they do in there because I’ve landscaped the perimeter of it with fast growing Euyonomous. I don’t see anything but beautiful evergreen shrubs when I look out my backdoor.
4.) Avoid Poisonous Plants for Dogs
When you start landscaping for dogs, make sure that you avoid shrubs and plants that are bad for dogs. Many plants can cause intestinal or systemic problems in dogs when eaten. Some plants are only mildly toxic and must be consumed in mass quantities while others are highly toxic and should be avoided at all costs. Check with your local Humane Society or the ASPCA for an in-depth list, but some of the more common ones include: Aloe, Begonias, Daffodils, Gladiolus, Lilies, Morning Glories, Tulips and Yews.
5.) Choose Safe Plants For Dogs Instead
I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but when it comes to my dogs’ safety, I try to err on the side of caution. That’s not to say that I don’t have all of my beloved spring bulbs blooming in my gardens – I do – but they’re in the front yard where the dogs don’t have access to them. In the backyard, where they are free to roam, I stick with dog-friendly plants whenever possible. Some of these plants include: African Daisies, Bachelors Buttons, Muscari, Sunflowers and many varieties of fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Again, check with your local Humane Society or the ASPCA for an in-depth list of dog safe plants.
6.) Use borders, paths and fences to establish boundaries.
If your dog is just ignoring you, consider using some inexpensive border fencing to keep her out of your special beds. This works very well with smaller dogs who may not be able to jump over it. We also put in a very simple post and log fence for our vegetable garden after watching the one of our dogs snatch the tomatoes right off the vine! She hasn’t ever figured out that she could just wiggle under the bottom post, so for now, it works! Our dogs also enjoy having set paths to walk around on – just make sure it’s a paw-friendly surface so the pads on their feet don’t get cut up. My one setter loves “patrolling” the yard for squirrels and she’ll pace up and down her designated area “protecting us.”
7.) Use prickly plants to your advantage.
If you really don’t want your dogs going somewhere, you can always plant a row of prickly or thorny plants. My dogs hate rosebushes, holly and barberry. They avoid them at all costs because the thorns and leaves get stuck in the fur and they don’t feel nice when I have to get them out!
With careful planning, you can have the garden of your dreams without your dog wrecking havoc on it. But remember, the dogs are in the garden because they love it too. They can seek shade under trees, they can dig for tasty bugs in well-mulched and composted soil, and they can entertain themselves when we’re too busy for them. So before you go gung-ho and try to keep your dogs out of the garden, see if our dog-friendly garden ideas help create a space that people and pets can enjoy!
8.) Feed them high-quality food so they stay healthy and don’t seek out nutrients elsewhere.
It kind of goes without saying, but if your dog eats food that is made with real poultry, meat or fish as the first ingredient, they are going to be satiated longer. This means that they will have little desire to snack on your tasty vegetables or freshly grown herbs. Our dogs are pretty picky eaters, but we’ve had a lot of success with getting them to eat Purina® Pro Plan® Savor. We really like that this line, sold at PetSmart locations nationwide, offers carefully adjusted formulas to ensure that each of our dogs gets the exact nutrition they need. We love our dogs and we want them to be happy, so we make sure their meals are delicious and worth savoring every bite! If you would like to try Purina® Pro Plan®, use this coupon and let us know what you think:
SPEND $15 on any Purina® Pro Plan® product, 5/31–7/5.
SAVE $15 on your next purchase of 10.5-lbs. or larger Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Cat or Dog Food or Litter by 7/31.