Landscaping Ideas Your Dog Will Love

by Mary Haight on February 8, 2010

This is a Japanese garden which is located in ...
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Spring is almost here. No…really. (I know I’m repeating myself, but maybe if I keep saying it, it will stop feeling like I’m stuck in “Groundhog Day.”) With all the snow blanketing a large swath of the US, what better time to sit down and plan what’s going to make your yard the family’s favorite place this season?  What kind of  pet-scaping  suits your dog and your family’s outdoor style?
Starting early can save money, giving you the time needed to plan a scheduled do-it-yourself assault on all the things you don’t like about your garden: The dog’s digging that makes your yard look like a  manic woodchuck  with  memory loss kept digging up new back doors for his den; the flower beds you’ve been meaning to raise up and out of Monty’s parading area–how many times can delphinium be trodden on before they don’t spring back (it’s a trick question)? Maybe you could fence off an area where that digging behavior could be contained and indulged with gusto and no reprimands? Everybody’s happy! (See, this is fun:)
As long as we have a little time, what about that grass? Do you have a lot of  “beaten path” wear from paws, urine stains, and bare patches?  What grass seeds are you planting this year?  We used rye and bluegrass at the house  which is hardy and works in this climate.  A herd of deer would  camp out in the yard each year, giving birth to their young.  Still, the grass did well (don’t ask about the rhododendron…or the trees lining the driveway).  Check out the pet-safe fertilizers while you’re at the home and garden shop.
Award winning Pet Writer Eve Adamson had an article in Dog Fancy a couple of years ago, and fancy it was, with very expensive dog houses and beautifully pet-and-landscaped gardens. There’s a lot of useful information in the article, despite the focus on pricey items.  Have a look and make a plan.  Spend the snowy days that remain on the calendar getting ready to enjoy outdoor living with the whole family.  If you’re not the type that plans, then you might want to watch for the new book by President and Designer of The Green Scene Landscape in LA  Scott Cohen on Petscaping out this Spring.
Gina Spadafori and the Pet Connection Team have a blog on how “dogs and lush gardens are not mutually exclusive.” Another place for good ideas!
What do you do with your backyard to make it fun for the whole family?
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8 comments
Edie
Edie

What I was thinking of definitely relates to inborn character but also training: Setting aside a patch your dog could dig in and letting him know that it's his by burying things he loves -- especially things with strong scents -- that he can find. After a while, he'll know that it's special patch.

Shawn Finch, DVM
Shawn Finch, DVM

*sigh* Is it really time to think about gardening finally? That makes me so happy! Our garden is set up so Ebony Lab and Joy the Puppy have plenty of running space, and Piggy the guinea pig and Max Cat have their own cat grass section :)

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Glad you enjoyed it...thinking about gardening helps make this weather go away for a few minutes and extends the weekend a little. Thanks!

Edie
Edie

I'm so glad you mentioned giving your dog a special area of the garden to dig in rather than trying to prevent him from digging at all. Not only is it difficult -- often impossible -- but why shouldn't your dog enjoy your garden to in a way that he finds natural rather than being scolded and exiled from it? How about a post on ways to keep your dog from digging up your garden -- great topic!

michele
michele

What a great idea. I know National Wildlife Federation has a wonderful program landscaping program that is designed to bring local wildlife into a backyard. It's great knowing about pet safe fertilizers and "green" gardening. Thanks for posting.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kevin Myers and Rod Burkert, Mary E Haight. Mary E Haight said: "Petscaping for Dogs!" What are you going to do with your backyard? http://bit.ly/cAEAmF […]

  2. […] Landscaping Ideas Your Dog Will Love – now that spring is on the way its a great idea to have a look at ways to include your dog in your garden rather than just worrying about how to keep him out. […]

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