Unfortunately, pets and a beautiful landscape sometimes do not mix. Dogs are known to leave stained grass, dig holes, rip up grass, run through or dig up gardens, and some may even munch on a plant or two! Our pets are part of our family, so how can we landscape with them in mind?
1. Use hardscapes to create defined spaces in your yard for your pet. Likely, your pet has a certain area they go to relieve themselves, and that area is not going to change. The wear and tear on the grass to and from that area can be remedied by adding a hardscape walkway or patio. Hardscaping also prevents a pet from claiming the entire yard, and it defines which spaces are for their use and which are not.
2. Choose your materials wisely. While mulch beds are beautiful, if you have a pet they are a potential mess. Mulched beds are frequently ran through and dug in, leaving the bed looking like a mess. Dogs also love to lay in a mulch bed as it is soft and often cool as it may have large trees providing shade. Choosing stone for your landscape beds instead will eliminate most of these issues. Be sure to research the plants you chose to include as well to rule out any toxic side effects. Some of the most common plants that can cause issues if ingested are lilies, foxglove, wisteria, oak, peonies, buttercup, crocus, and daffodils.
3. If possible, create barriers around your yard. If your pet really enjoys a certain landscape bed, consider adding a barrier. These can range from simply putting edging in to a small fence. To keep those pesky brown spots out of your yard, try rotating the area you allow your pet to urinate in, so that the lawn can recover. There are also dog treats on the market that are said to reduce the nitrogen in pets urine, the cause of the brown spots. Making your yard a place that is comfortable for your entire family, furry friends included, can make your time spent outdoors much more pleasant!