We all love our pets. We also love our outdoor space. Sometimes those two things don’t get along very well. Before you know it, your pets are digging up your favorite shrub or digging a hole in the middle of your yard. With a little creativity, you can give your home a beautiful landscape and a space both you and your pets can enjoy.

Borst Landscape and Design is a leader among landscape designers and offers several helpful tips for designing a landscape for your pet.

An adorable pup enjoying a Louisville, KY garden.

Pet-Friendly Landscaping

“Start by knowing your pet. Some love to dig; others are always on the lookout for an escape route. Understanding your pet’s habits will help you design your yard to better address them…When it comes to digging, include more hardscaping…Make it up to your pet by installing a designated digging area, like a sandbox. Bury some toys to make it more appealing.”

Borst Landscape recommends a designated pathway for dogs to like to patrol, a cool, shaded area for relaxing pets, and dense planting to keep them secure and inside the yard boundaries. For more ideas, read the full article.

Lisa Gordon is a contributing writer for House Logic and has three dogs of her own. She recommends helpful do’s and don’ts for landscape design around dogs.

Landscaping For Dogs: Do’s and Don’ts

“DO: Use gravel, shredded hardwood mulch, or wood chips, which won’t stick to longhair coats.

DON’T: Use cocoa mulch, which may contain theobromine, the same ingredient that makes chocolate poisonous to dogs.

DO: Create a water feature so your dog can cool off on hot days.

DON’T: Install a pond or pool that is hard for your dog to enter and exit.

DO: Use organic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides on lawns and plants.

DON’T: Spread toxic lawn and plant care products, which can harm dogs.

DO: Give up the idea of having a perfect yard — a place that’s perfect for you and your pet is better.

DON’T: Let your dog rule the roost. Train him to respect boundaries and do his business in a designated spot.”

For the complete list of Do’s and Don’ts, visit the full article to learn more.

It’s important to recognize that your pet needs to have freedom in the backyard, but they can also be taught boundaries and rules of the space. Pet owners Bud Stuckley and his wife, who breed champion American Cocker Spaniel,  were recently featured in Sunset Magazine for tips on maintaining happy pets with a beautiful lawn and garden.

How To Landscape a Dog-Friendly Garden

“Get a dog and there goes the garden. That’s what many homeowners conclude, but it doesn’t have to be that way… The best way to accomplish both goals is to design your garden to meet your dog’s needs, Stuckey advises. That way, Fido will be able to romp and race without injuring himself or trampling your flowers―well, most of the time, anyway. Owning a dog also means giving up perfectionism and learning forgiveness, says Stuckey.

If you were a dog, what would you want? Each breed has a different personality. The better you can accommodate its particular traits, the happier your dog. And the happier your dog, the better your chance of maintaining a garden you’ll both enjoy. This dog-friendly yard includes a running track, border control, comfy mulch, sensible plants, and a piece of driftwood to serve as a marking post.”

To read the full article on more dog-friendly garden landscapes, visit Sunset today.

Sometimes it’s more than just creating a landscape that accommodates or puts up with your pet. Having a pet can actually enhance your space by adding a few elements that allow your pet to enjoy their space and also provide added benefits for you and your family.

Marianne Lipanovich, a Houzz Contributor who writes for Home and Garden, recommended a few pretty pet additions in an article recently featured on Bark.com.

8 Great Backyard Ideas to Delight Your Dog

“Keep the water flowing. Fresh water, and plenty of it, is essential. Why not take this opportunity to add a water feature to your landscape that your dog can access? A splash fountain or stream is ideal, and you’ll enjoy it, too.

Provide readily available shade and shelter. This is another essential, as dogs can get sunburnt  and suffer from heatstroke. A large tree or trees will provide shade, but if trees aren’t possible, look into overhead tarps and shade cloths that stretch over part of the area.”

For more ideas on how to keep both your family and your dog happy, check out the full article.

Anytime you are incorporating pets into your family, it is also important to make sure your landscape is toxin free. Marie Hofer, a writer for HGTV, explains how to keep our pets safe by choosing our plants carefully.

Keeping Pets Safe: Poisonous Plants

“Lots of dogs and some cats chew on plants. Most of the time, there’s no ill effect. But some plants — such as Elephant Ear and Yew — can be extremely toxic to pets. Other plants that are much less poisonous create toxicity issues only when large quantities are eaten. With all of these plants, the effect depends on the variety of plant and the size and weight of the animal and the amount consumed. Effects can range from mild oral irritation to poisoning.”

Check out the full article to learn more about poisonous plants and ways to keep your pets safe!

You can check with your vet and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for a list of plants that can irritate or even kill your pet. Landscaping materials and chemical controls can also cause problems. Be careful to use materials, fertilizers, and baits that are safe for pets.

A bored dog tends to look for trouble. Give them a space they can run and play in. Even simple additions like obstacles, balance beams, or tunnels to roam through that is just your dog’s size can solve all your problems. Even dogs sometimes need to get away from it all.

With a little awareness and creativity, you’ll have a happy pet and a beautiful space you both can enjoy. Call us today for more information!