When drawing up plans for a landscaping project, one of the basic tenets to keep in mind is that it should not just look great, but also be a reflection of your lifestyle. Many homeowners take their own needs and wants into consideration, but what about man’s best friend?
In this post, we are going to talk about some landscaping features that make your yard a place your dog will love just as much as you do!
1. A Water Feature
After a few laps around the yard, your dog can get thirsty. A beautiful solution is a dog-accessible water feature with flowing water. A stream or splash fountain is a great option that you can appreciate just as much as your pooch will!
Another option would be a small pool or pond. With any kind of pool, though, safety is paramount. If your dog should happen to fall in, they should be able to get back out without a problem. Sides with gentle slopes or some shallow steps should be kept in mind.
2. Fence Me In
While dogs love to run, they also require boundaries if you live in a populated area. In such cases, a fully fenced-in yard is an option worth exploring. A dog run inside a larger contained area is another option. Regardless of which way you go, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your dog is safe and still has room to run.
Chain-link fences are a popular option because are strong and easy to install. That said, they aren’t always the best-looking option. When considering fencing options, take into account the style of the landscaping, as well as whether you’ll be opting for fencing in the whole yard or building a dog run. Clean horizontal boards offer a nice contemporary look. Picket fences are a classic design with a cottage flavor.
Whichever you choose, just make sure the fence is strong enough and any slats are spaced closely enough so that your dog can’t get stuck between them. (It happens.)
3. Shady Offerings
Because they have all that fur to insulate them, people often overestimate how well dogs can tolerate hot and cold temps. In actuality, dogs can (and do) get sunburn and heatstroke. Large trees are a beautiful option for shade. In some cases, though, large trees aren’t always feasible. In such cases, tarps or shade clothes can also work.
Depending upon how much room you are working with, you might consider a dog house, as well. If you haven’t checked out dog houses in a while, you’ll be surprised to see how far they have come. There are plenty of stylish, well-built options on the market today.
4. Free From Toxicity
While azaleas, lilies, and Chrysanthemums (mums) look beautiful, they can be harmful to your dog if consumed. The ASPCA has a great list of which plants are toxic—and which plants aren’t toxic—to help you when deciding upon flowerbed choices. You’ll also want to be sure to ask about other landscaping materials, as well. For instance, mulch is a very common element of many a landscaping project. Cocoa mulch, however, would be a bad choice. Many people love the smell of cocoa mulch, but if your dog consumes cocoa mulch, it can trigger the same reactions that eating chocolate would.
5. Play Time Pals
Dogs need and love exercise. If they don’t get enough, they can become irritable and start causing problems around the house (e.g., getting into the trash, chewing couch cushions, etc.). If you have a designated place for your pup to run and play, you’ll end the day with an exhausted (and elated) puppy dog. Ideally, you’ll want that play space to be as large as possible.
Our four-legged friends love to explore. Having paths as part of your landscaping will be as enjoyable for them as they are for you!
7. Dog-Friendly Landscaping Materials
Because we often walk around outdoors with shoes or sandals on, it can be easy to forget that our dogs don’t. Therefore, when choosing dog-friendly materials, it is best to keep in mind materials that won’t get too hot in the summer sun. Materials should also not stick to fur or feet. Good choices would include: brick, concrete, flagstone, and smooth rocks.
Mulch is pretty dog friendly, because it doesn’t get too hot. Of course, you’ll want to stay away from the aforementioned cocoa mulch.
There are even choices when it comes to lawn material. Some homeowners opt for artificial turf as it often stands up better to regular wear and tear than traditional grass does. If you opt for artificial turf, you’ll want to use it selectively and in places where it won’t get too hot for your dog’s paws.
For many of us, our dogs are part of our family and they enjoy being outside as much, if not more than, the rest of us. So, when you are working out a landscaping plan that suits your lifestyle, be sure to keep your four-legged friend(s) in mind, as well. We have highlighted some ideas for dog-friendly landscaping here, but this list isn’t exhaustive. If you have ideas for dog-friendly landscaping, be sure to discuss them with your local landscaping professional.
To get the most out of your landscaping, E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply offers professional landscaping design and installation services in the Jackson, MI area. Feel free to contact us online or call us today at (517) 990-0110.