Your furry best friend adds a lot of joy to your life, but unfortunately dogs can also wreak serious havoc on your yard and landscaping. From digging in your garden to leaving brown spots on your grass, keeping your yard looking great with a dog around may feel like an uphill battle. Fortunately, it is possible to have a great-looking yard and a happy dog at the same time. Here are six landscaping ideas for dog owners to consider:
Dogs love to patrol their yards in order to "guard" it from pesky squirrels and passing mail carriers. They often walk a well-worn path along the perimeter of your fence and through your yard, eventually wearing away and trampling down the grass in those areas. A solution that lets you work with your dog's habits is to add decorative paths along the areas your dog loves to walk anyway.
This protects your grass and provides additional visual appeal to your yard. Flagstone, polished river rock, and slate are beautiful options for decorative paths that are also smooth enough for your pup's paws.
Just Add Water
The reason dog's urine leads to brown spots in grass is because it is very high in nitrogen. The main way to counteract this is to dilute the urine with water, either by spraying the spots where your dog urinates with the hose or by encouraging your dog to drink more water. Another solution is to switch your grass fertilizer to one that has a lower percentage of nitrogen, which helps make up for the excess nitrogen your dog is adding to the yard.
Add Plenty of Hardscaping
Hardscaping can enhance the beauty of your landscaping, and cuts down on your watering all at the same time. A concrete, slate, brick, or stone patio gives your family a nice outdoor living space while also being very dog-friendly. Just remember to add shade and an outdoor dog bowl full of cold water. A decorative rock garden made from rocks, ornamental grasses, and hardy succulents is also less vulnerable to a dog's wear and tear.
Use Wire Cages
Place chicken wire cages around garden plants if your dog has shown too much of an interest in them, as well as around trees to prevent your dog from digging up tree roots. If your dog has been digging along your fence line, potentially escaping already, you can actually bury chicken wire along your fence to extend the fence underground and prevent your pooch from escaping.
Eliminate Exposed Dirt
If your dog doesn't have access to dirt-filled areas, they won't have the opportunity to dig. Fill in bald patches in your yard with new grass seed or sod to reduce digging opportunities, and consider covering exposed dirt around trees and in your garden with mulch, wood shavings, or decorative gravel. Just keep a close eye on your dog in case you think your pup has begun ingesting any of these things.
Add Elements of Fun
If your dog is kept busy and entertained in your yard they will be less likely to turn to destructive behavior. Have a separate toy basket in the yard and filled with balls, Frisbee, and outdoor-friendly toys and bones. Consider buying a small swimming pool for your dog to splash around in all summer, or even have a bigger one professionally installed. If you have the space and your dog is on the athletic side, you can even add your own backyard agility course to your landscaping plans.
By working with a landscaping company to turn these ideas into reality, you will end up with a dog-friendly yard that is both practical and attractive.