We love our furry, four-legged, family members and do everything to ensure they are well taken care of, complete with a good diet, exercise, play toys; and, of course, plenty of room to romp outside. For most families, a two income household is a reality and that presents somewhat of a challenge for Fido and friends.
You want them to be able to heed nature’s call when it’s necessary and don’t want them suffering from heat exhaustion. Here in Sarasota, summers are quite warm and that means keeping pets inside when it’s possible. However, as you and your spouse are working during the day, you probably don’t have time to go home and let the dog(s) out.
That’s okay, because you can make your backyard into a dog-friendly landscape that has all the comforts of home, along with some fun features. This will allow you to leave Spot roam during the day and provide them with a whole host of amenities that will be just right for resting, chowing down, and frolicking about freely.
Adding Features without Decreasing Aesthetics and Function
The first thing that many homeowners think about having a dog, a vegetable or flower garden, and a landscape that accommodates all, is just not possible. Their curious and sometimes mischievous quadruped will wreak havoc on the garden and probably do a number (we’re talking 1 or 2) on their hardscape. Such thinking is a valid concern, but with the right planning, you and your fur-people will be able to have your cakes and eat them too.
A dog or dogs happily romping in the backyard is a classic dog-owner dream. Achieving this, though, takes more thought than just sending your dog out in the yard and hoping for the best. Take the time to make sure your yard provides your dog with the amenities he or she needs and loves. Fortunately, pet-friendly yard amenities are also great for people as well. —Houzz.com
You probably know your dog’s disposition and proclivities, so, try to be creative with a workable solution. You’ll need to provide the basics and can also put in a few things that will provide necessary shelter, comfort, and nutrition. With the right plan, you can also declare certain areas off limits, while making other areas easily accessible. In addition, you should be aware of certain dangers posed by great landscaping features, such as Cocoa mulch, which is toxic to dogs in large doses. So, if your dog likes to masticate on mulch or does so when bored, avoid putting in mulch. That also goes for plants and those on the list are many. You can find a complete list of toxic plants on the ASPCA’s website.
Fences can be great for containment but can also be an obstacle to overcome, or rather, dig under to pull off an escape. If your pet is susceptible to the siren call of a strong scent, that’s certain something to take into consideration so you don’t come home to find your dog has taken flight.
Creating a Dog-Friendly Landscaping Design
To make a dog friendly landscape, you should consider some of the following options to provide a safe, yet fun, environment for your pet to enjoy:
- An automatic water dispenser. A self filling water bowl is just the solution for needed hydration during the day. Fill it once in the morning before you leave for work and that will take care of the day.
- Plenty of food, but not too much. Along with an automatic water dispenser, a food dispenser is also necessary. However, if you have the type of pet who likes to consume every last speck of food in their dish, be sure to moderate the amount to avoid trips to the veterinarian.
- A nice place to nap. You probably have a covered porch leading out to the pool and/or back yard, so make good use of it. A nice comfortable bed under cover out of the sun will be a great place to nap during the day.
- Toys and other play items. Depending on your dog’s chewing and playing habits, pick toys which are appropriate. In addition, you can put out a little swimming pool to frolic in the water when the mood strikes.
Here’s another idea: strolling paths. Some dogs really enjoy patrolling the yard and sniffing along the way. If your’s appreciates this, then put in a stone pathway. This is not only a great exploration feature, it’s also perfect for family and friends to enjoy. To keep their “toilet space” to a minimum, do a little old fashion training, teaching where it is and where it isn’t acceptable to do their business.
The good news is, none of these steps are difficult to take and in just a matter of a weekend, you can create and peaceful oasis of rest and play for your furry friend.