We know how much you love your dog because we love ours just as much! We also know how important it is to have a safe and fun outdoor space for your pooch to relax and play.
Here are a few guidelines to follow when creating the perfect landscape solutions for your canine companion. Let’s start with the essentials.
Freshwater and plenty of it is essential. A water bowl or two would be just fine, but why not take this opportunity to add a water feature to your landscape that your dog could use as well?
If you can create a splash fountain, stream, or small pond not only will your dog have access to fresh drinking water but a super fun place to play on hot summer days.
If you build an accessible water feature or allow your dog access to a pool, perform a safety check first. Make sure your dog can get out of the water feature easily if they fall in by adding a gently sloping side or easily accessible shallow steps.
Boundaries = Safety
Whether you choose a fully fenced backyard or a dog run within a larger area, you’ll know your dog is both happy and safe. Chain-link fences are effective and easy to install but if you are looking for something more aesthetically pleasing choose a fencing material that matches your landscape style.
Whether your design supports picket fences, sleek horizontal boards, or posts and wire make sure the materials and build are sturdy enough to contain your family friend and designed so a curious dog can’t slip through to get stuck between the boards.
Also keep in mind how high your dog can jump, if your dog is a climber, or if your dog loves to dig under things when making your fencing decisions.
Shade and Shelter
You may not know it, but dogs can get sunburns and even suffer from heatstroke. If you’ve already got large trees in your yard, then your shade solution is built-in. If trees aren’t an option look into overhead tarps and shade cloths that stretch over part of the area.
Doghouses are also an option if you have room for one. There is a large variety of dog houses on the market that can fit in with your design aesthetic. You can even have one custom designed and built for your dog!
It may surprise you to learn that some common plants are dangerous to dogs if they eat them. The list includes standards like azaleas, lilies, and mums. You can research online, check with your vet, or contact the ASPCA for a list of plants that can irritate or even kill your pet.
Be aware of what landscaping materials and chemical controls you are using in your yard. For example, mulch is a great choice for a garden and soft on dog paws, but cocoa mulch can be deadly. When eaten by a dog, cocoa mulch can cause the same adverse reactions as chocolate.
Snail, rat, and other pest baits can be fatal if chomped down by your pooch. If you must use these kinds of pest control, make sure your dog can’t get at them.
This may require diligence on your part since dogs can be remarkably tenacious when it comes to getting at something you don’t want them to get at. Now let’s move on to play and comfort tips.
As we have learned with our own fluffy friends, a tired dog is a good dog. If you can provide a space where your dog can run and chase, you will have far fewer problems. A bored dog will look for trouble, so if you make the exercise space as large as possible, this means less frustration for you.
Paths for Pooches
Create a variety of paths your dog can explore. These could be paved or cut through shrubby areas. The more sensory they are, the more your dog will love them.
Comfort for Your Canine
It’s important to consider your canine friend when choosing landscaping materials. These materials shouldn’t get too hot.
They should be easy to walk on. As much as possible they should not cling to fur and feet. Concrete, brick, flagstone, pebbles, smooth rocks, and mulch are all good choices. Dogs love lawns too, but they may be destroyed more easily than harder materials.
Fun Features for Your Friend
A window in a fence or gate can be great for curious dogs who would enjoy watching the world go by. Of course, this may not be a great option for dogs who bark at everything that passes by.
A custom-made sitting spot or large flat rock would be perfect for a dog who likes to survey his or her kingdom.
A fun play area is perfect for a young pup or a highly active breed. Take a cue from dog play courses: use plants and hardscaping to create obstacles to weave through, balance beams to walk on or tunnels to roam through.
Let Us Help You Design Your Yard
These are just a few basic guidelines to follow when building the perfect yard for your canine companion. Each dog has his or her own personality and needs.
You are the expert on your dog or pack. Taking just a little bit of time to think about what to include and what to avoid for your specific situation will ensure that your pet is happy and safe- whether you are outside relaxing together or your pup is enjoying your new yard on its own.
At Complete Landsculpture, we know how important your dogs are to you and the quality of your life. We’ve designed numerous dog-friendly yards for a variety of different kinds of pet owners and their pups on a variety of different budgets. If you and your pup are ready to get started on the perfect dog-friendly yard, schedule a consultation with us today!