Now that winter is coming to an end and March is finally here, many homeowners’ thoughts are turning to spring and gardening! If you’re a dog owner as well, you may be wondering how to make your yard safer and more welcoming for your furry friend. There are lots of great ideas out there to help you create pet-friendly outdoor living spaces that can be enjoyed by both your family and your pets.
Here are a few gardening and landscaping ideas to get you started on a dog-friendly yard this spring:
- Plant natural pest repellants such as mint and fleabane for fleas and marigold and lemon thyme for ticks.
- Dogs love to dig, so to minimize damage to flower beds and mulched areas, create a “dig pit” filled with sand and soil and encourage your dog to use it by putting toys and treats nearby.
- Make sure your yard has a few soft, shady spots under trees, bushes or trellises for your dog to lie in when it’s hot and sunny.
- Satisfy your dog’s natural curiosity (and minimize barking) by creating a little window in your privacy fence and adding boulders or other landscape features for him to stand on and have a look around.
- Big dogs with lots of energy can trample delicate plants. Try sturdy plants and ground covers that can stand up to an enthusiastic dog. These include lavender, juniper, thyme and moss.
Before you get started, it’s important to make sure that whatever you choose to plant is not toxic to any pets that will be spending time outside. See the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants HERE.
For more ideas on pet-friendly landscaping, check out the book Pawfriendly Landscapes, by professional landscaper Elizabeth Bublitz, available through Barnes & Noble Marketplace.