Monday, April 19, 2010

Dog Friendly Landscaping

I thought this would be a great subject. It's gorgeous outside and it's time to start some spring planting for those with yards! However, when you have a dog (or more than one) it can be frustrating to keep a nice yard and a dog happy at the same time.

I know right now my backyard is a disaster. It's all dirt, poop and then my nice trees. The trees are the nicest part of my yard at this point. While my dogs are only outdoors sporadically throughout the day they are out long enough to demolish any resemblance of a nice landscaped yard. I like nice yards, it's one of my things. But I feel like it's not going to happen at my house. I'm sure I'm not alone.

I have lately become more aware that I need to do something because my daughter doesn't even have a nice yard to play in that is safe (from nasty stuff) and clean. I'm a fan of this great site [on Facebook] I found (I think just through a Google search for pet friendly landscape) called Paw Friendly Landscapes. I was sad to see they are located in Colorado. Then I did some browsing on their site to find that they do custom landscape design plans for your yard--no matter where you are! Whoa! So I'm going to submit some photos and fill out a design form. I'll see what they come up with for my yard and when we get the funds hubby and I will start doing it ourselves!

A few tips for you on dogs and landscaping:
  • Think realistically first and foremost. If you want a gorgeous yard with no appearance of a dog, well then you may have to start walking your dog on leash and not allowing much time in the yard!
  • Less grass is best. Find designs that utilize more paths, mulch, bark, gravel, etc. This gives your dog more substrate to walk on that isn't ugly or easily destroyed.
  • Keep plants that are hardy and/or potted. Low lying flower beds are just asking for a waste of money and time. Most dogs will trample these in a matter of days. If you must raise the beds high, or plant in planters and pots.
  • Use hardy ground cover, such Asian jasmine. Asian jasmine is attractive and hardy against just about all things dog--pee, poo and stomping! You can plant this anywhere and it spreads nicely too. You can also use Mondograss (monkeygrass). This is a nice and popular ground cover. It does spread like wildfire so be sure to contain it in beds if you don't want it to mix with your actual grass yard.
  • Offer shade so that your dog can cool and doesn't dig or find his own shade.
  • Put grass in but not a whole yard full. Put areas of grass and other different substrates for eye appeal and for saving your grass against dog paws, pee and other matter!

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