It’s time to face the fact that even if you have a dog that spends most of its time indoors, the backyard is still its domain. That said, your yard should be a place where Fido can play, eat, relax, and play without encountering danger. A pet-friendly yard is a yard free from plants that can make them sick, free from dangerous obstacles that could injure them, and a place where your dog or cat can escape from the elements if necessary. Your yard should also be a place where your pets can enjoy playing with toys and napping while basking in the sun. The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice a well-manicured lawn to give your pet a happy place to play. Radiant Landscape Design and Build presents tips to create a backyard that suits you and your needs as well as the needs of your pet.
Protecting Pet-Free Zones
There are certain areas of your yard where it is best to keep your pets away from, like your garden, for example. There is really no need for Fido to be frolicking around the garden for any number of reasons. In addition to munching on plants that could cause problems, pets in the garden can destroy what you have worked so hard to achieve. For example, a dog digging holes in your garden will jeopardize your cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes.
There are a few creative ways in which you can keep pets out of certain areas of your yard. For example, a fence is always an excellent choice to protect your garden and other pet-free zones. You can opt for a typical picket fence, but some pets are quite bright and may find a way to breach it. There are options that are dog-proof, like a brick or concrete wall, for example. Talk with your landscape design expert to discover ways to protect your pet-free zones and spruce up the aesthetics of your yard.
Pet-Friendly Ground Cover
One task that your dog will complete when you let him or her outside can take a toll on your grassy areas. Lucky for you, there are a few ways that you can protect your yard from pet urine stains and brown spots. One way is by immediately rinsing the spot where your dog just peed with water, but this is a tedious task that you will find challenging to keep up with. A better solution is to discover alternate ground cover for your yard.
No grass is entirely immune to urine stains, but there are some strains that are tougher and can better handle the problem. For example, Kentucky Bluegrass is a durable choice, and it isn’t going to break your budget either. Best of all, it’s a beautiful choice that will increase the curb appeal of your outdoor space.
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Another option is synthetic turf. In addition to being immune to staining from pet urine. Artificial turf is low maintenance, doesn’t need mowing or watering, and it also prevents Fido from digging holes. In fact, there are several other reasons why synthetic turf is an excellent option for outdoor spaces, but we will get to that in another blog at a later date.
When you have pets, you have to consider all aspects of your yard, including the more minor details like the type of mulch you use. There are some types of mulch on the market that can cause problems for your furry friends. For example, some mulches can be toxic to your cat or dog. As you already know, some pets, dogs, in particular, will eat or chew on almost anything, including the mulch in your yard. Your best bet is to do some research before making a purchase to ensure you are buying mulch that is non-toxic and safe for pets.
You will also want to avoid mulches with dyes or other color enhancers. While these added colors might not prove to be toxic for your pet, they can still be an issue with the homeowner. Dogs that run through and otherwise frolic in mulch can get the dye on their fur, which can come off on your carpet and create unwanted stains. Nobody wants to have to clean their carpet because it has mulch staining.
Throw Your Dog Some Shade
One thing we all know about living in Northern Colorado, it can get quite hot during summer. And while you probably have features in your outdoor space that help keep you and your family cool, you should also consider ways to ensure Fido remains cool and safe in the heat of the day. It is very important that you design your outdoor space to keep your pets comfortable.
One way to keep dogs cool in the summer is by utilizing a water feature. A small pond or fountain will go a long way in providing your pet with a cool place to take a quick dip. With all of that fur, your dog will most certainly appreciate it. And don’t forget to make sure you have plenty of cool and clean water available throughout the day.
You will also want to ensure that your pets have a nice shady area or two where they can relax and stay cool. Trees and plants are a great way to keep your pets cool in the heat of the day, and they also make your outdoor space look fantastic. So when you are discussing your landscape desires with a professional, don’t forget to inquire about plants and trees to utilize for shade.
You can also add hardscapes that provide shade for your pets. A pergola or other outdoor structure increases curb appeal, can become the centerpiece of your yard, and will provide much-needed shade for humans and pets. A retaining wall is an excellent way to showcase your garden, but it will also provide a nice and shady spot for Fido to snooze in the heat of the day.
Show Them The Way
Your dog will instinctually wander the yard searching for squirrels or protecting your house. And if you do the research, you will discover that dogs will often run the same route day after day. As such, it then makes perfect sense to install a concrete walkway (or other material) through your outdoor space. This isn’t necessarily only for your dog; a walkway beautifies your yard, provides guidance, and helps keep kids and guests off your lawn. Have a walkway installed in your yard, and your dog will use it for patrolling.
As you can see, there are several ways in which you can incorporate landscape features that are pet-friendly. In fact, many of these features will be utilized and thoroughly enjoyed by your pets. Follow these ideas, and you will enjoy an outdoor space that is not only beautiful and fun but also safe and fun for your pets. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.