Sumo Gardener

Dogscaping Tips | How to Make a Dog Friendly Garden

Are you looking into dogscaping your backyard? During the summer, your backyard or garden could serve as a great place for your dog to enjoy the warm sunny weather.

Before you let your dog loose, there are certain steps you may want to take to create dog proof backyard. Read on to find out how you can dogscape and make your outdoor space more compatible for both yourself and your furry pal.

Tips to Dogscaping Your Backyard

Dogscaping Tips for Your Backyard

The thought of inviting your dog into your garden is a little uncomfortable. A dog can quickly turn your garden into a playing ground and cause a lot of mess.

However, whether you know it or not, your dog wants to follow you to your garden. Something about spending more time with an owner makes dogs excited.

If your dog is already too stubborn about it, it might be time to consider letting him come with you to the garden. However, you must put forth some measures to make sure you do not suffer a great loss to all your hard work in the garden.

Here are some amazing tips to help you create a dog friendly garden.

Designating a Digging Spot

Dogscape your garden by designating digging spot for your dogs

Dogs, whether they are big or small, like to dig for a number of reasons. For example, they may dig to relieve stress or to create a cooler resting spot in the backyard. They may also dig to hide their treasured possessions, such as toys and bones.

Whatever the reason, digging may set some unfortunate consequences for any plants grown in the backyard. If you want to stop your dog from digging certain spots then consider the following tips.

First, re-think how and where you are growing the plants. It would be much easier to prevent your dog from digging away at the plants if they are isolated to one area of the backyard, and if circumstances allow, the plants should also be densely packed.

If you are finding your dog to be stubborn then you may want to consider building a small fence or pebble path along the perimeter of the garden bed. Our list of dog fence ideas will definitely come in handy for this task. 

Once you have the garden bed situation sorted, identify a space in the backyard where your dog can dig away without any repercussions. This spot should be well-sheltered and the ground underneath should be firm.

Once you have identified this spot, consider building or placing a sandbox on top of it. You could either buy a kids sandbox or build your own using planks of wood.

The sandbox should have an easy entrance and exit path and the sand in the box should be slightly damp. If all goes to plan, your dog will fall in love with the sandbox at first sight and never dig elsewhere.

Here are more information on how to stop a dog from digging

Putting a Small Water Pool and Shelter for Your Dogs

Small water pool for dogs

With all the fur that a dog has, it is not a surprise that they will instinctively behave in certain ways to cool their body down. As we mentioned earlier, one way they cool themselves is by digging a cool spot in the ground.

To further reduce random acts of digging, consider putting a small water pool for your dog to splash around in. Obviously, you will need to first confirm whether your dog likes to play in water.

The backyard should also have plenty of sheltered spots that will keep the dogs away from the glaring sunlight. This could be done by strategically placing objects like medium-size trees and garden umbrellas. 

You will need to consider factors such as the direction the backyard is facing and the time of day when you will let your dog out to play in the backyard.

Avoid Using Chemical Pesticide Treatments

How to Make a Dog Friendly Garden

The presence of pests and parasites is inevitable during the summer season. Chemical pesticide treatment should be avoided to get rid of dog parasites like ticks, fleas, and mites.

Chemical pesticide is not a sustainable solution and long-term exposure may cause harm to both yourself and your dog. Instead, consider natural solutions that could help form a pest barrier around the backyard.

One solution is to attract the natural predators of pests. They could be birds, amphibians, small mammals, or even beneficial insects.

For example, if you anticipate having a lot of flea problems in the backyard then consider attracting ladybugs, non-venomous spiders, and ground beetles.

The key to success is to ensure these predators are native to the area you live in. The backyard should also provide a place of refuge (e.g. large rocks for ground beetles to hide under) and a source of water.

If the idea of attracting such animals doesn't thrill you then an alternative solution is to grow pest-repelling plants in the backyard.

Over time, many species of plants have built up defensive mechanisms against elements like pests. Examples of pest-repelling plants include chives, basil, lavender, parsley, and thyme.

You may have noticed that many of these plants are cooking herbs. If you are a cooking fanatic then you could kill two birds with one stone by growing such herbs organically.

Not only will they protect your dogs from parasites, but they could also be used for your kitchen endeavors.

Give Your Dogs Their Own Walk Path

While your wish is to have your dog sit still until you are done, this may not be possible. He will want to move around as you do. If you can make a path in your garden, then you can help make sure that the dog is not stepping on your plants.

This way, you do not restrict your dog from walking around as you protect your plants. However, this may take a little training. Encourage your dog to walk on the paths you have made before your garden turns into a big mess.

Consider and Secure Your Dog's Safety

Safety should be a big consideration when you design a dog-friendly backyard

Safety should be a big consideration when you design a dog-friendly backyard. Safety comes in two forms. First, the backyard should be designed to prevent your dog from easily escaping. Second, there should be no elements in the backyard that may cause harm to your pet's health.

As much as your dogs may love you, their curiosity may have them try and explore areas beyond the fences. There are two things to check for. First, make sure the fences are inserted a few feet deep into the ground.

This is to prevent the dog from digging underneath. Second, make sure the fences are tall enough. You will be surprised by how high some dogs can jump.

Once you are satisfied with the condition of the fence, walk around the backyard and discard any debris that could pose a threat to your dog. This could include objects like sharp rocks, thorns, and toxic plants.

Steer Clear of Poisonous Plants

Now that your dog is part of your gardening experience, be careful he does not die in the process. Some plants are poisonous to dogs. Ideally, dogs are very sensitive to some plants, even to the best dog bed in the market.

If you are not watchful and intentional with the plants in your garden, then your dog may bite on the wrong leaf and suffer a major health condition.

Some of the plants you want to avoid include, lilies, onions, clivia, oleanders, and cycads, among others. If you still want to plant these plants, be sure to restrict your dog from going to where they are.

Add a Marking Post for Your Dog

A marking post is perhaps the best way to steer clear of poisonous plants for your dog. Marking posts are used to help dogs establish their territory.

Within your garden, add a marking post to suggest how far the dog can go into your garden. It helps in ensuring he does not go destroying budding plants, or eating of poisonous ones

Wrapping Up Our Garden Dogscaping Guide

It is not a bad idea to include gardening as part of the nice memories you make with your dog. However, make sure you have a dog-friendly garden before you invite your dog over.

Sam Choan is an amateur gardener with a keen interest around topics such as going green, conservation, and gardening. Check out Organic Lesson to view his latest articles.

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About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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