Is your own landscape going to the dogs? Is your own lawn grass riddled with urine patches? There is no real cause why you can’t be the owner of both a dog who goes outdoors and an appealing yard. But landscaping with pet dogs in mind does display challenges that may need some compromises. Be ready to perform a balancing act between exactly what the designer in you wants and just what owning this kind of pet needs.
Effective landscaping with dogs into consideration begins with the responsibility on the part of the owner that a business-as-usual strategy will not work. In the event that your mutts are to be allowed to go about in the yard, you probably will have to make adjustments when it comes to what you have at your home and how you maintain it. These kinds of adjustments primarily entail creating concessions to your canine buddies, as you will notice from the strategies below.
Strategy #1: Avoid Urine Spots With Hardscape
Pet dogs and lawn grass usually do not mix well. For small places, consider switching from a grassy area to hardscape. The advantages of hardscape go beyond methods to landscaping with dogs, since hardscape provides a low-maintenance alternative to grass that obviates lawn care, which is often not only labor intensive, but will also be expensive.
Strategy #2: Smarter Lawn Care — Know Your Grass Types
However what if you reject the thought of incorporating hardscape, sticking stubbornly to your own wish for a “green carpet” of grass? At the minimum, consider switching to a different variation of grass. Some grasses hold up far better to foot traffic, paw traffic, as well as various other kinds of abuse than others. Among the warm-season grasses, Bermuda grass is among the durable. If you need a cool-season grass for landscape and lawn care with dogs, try tall fescue grass.
Strategy #3: Green Alternatives to Grass
However installing a tougher type of grass will fix only one lawn-care problem experienced in landscaping with dogs: namely, damage on grass. It will do nothing at all to solve the problem posed by dog urine. Sometimes called “dog spots” or even “puppy spots,” these are the unsightly yellowish stains or “burns” on grass due to the nitrogen and salts in dog urine.
Strategy #4: Emergency Lawn Care — Diluting Dog Urine
In the event you can’t bring yourself to quit the fragile type of grass that your own mutt is currently causing damage upon, you can nonetheless prevent urine spots by a watchful eye. When you see a canine urinating on the grass, rush to the garden hose. Switch it on and bring it over to the area wherein your dog has just urinated. Douse the region with water, thereby flushing it as well as diluting the harmful elements in the urine.
Strategy #5: Fences for Dog-Friendly Yards
One method to keep dogs away from the fragile plants in your yard is by constructing fences around them, thus excluding your canine pals.
Fenced-in gardens have a charm all their very own, enjoying something of a courtyard look and feel. Wooden picket fences could be especially attractive, as could wooden lattice fences (picture). Grow some perennial flowers behind a bright white picket fence, and you can be well on your approach to creating an English country garden which will supply you with endless delight.
Strategy #6: Wire Cages
Set wire cages around trees as well as shrubs to prevent dog pee from reaching their trunks and roots and then damaging them. Like that, dogs can go about their business allowing you to relax, secure in the knowledge that it’s urine will not be killing your favorite specimen. Cable cages are fairly easy to build:
Buy a roll of chicken wire, tall enough that your dogs can’t jump over it.
Drive 4 stakes into the ground around the tree or shrub, about 2 feet away from any foliage or bark. Now measure the perimeter of the square area formed by the stakes.
Using that measurement, cut off a length of the wire.
Now run the length of wire from stake to stake, tying the wire to the stakes (e.g., with twist-ties).
The result is an enclosure that will keep it at bay.
Strategy #7: The Path of Least Resistance to Dog-Friendly Yards
In the event that a fence surrounds your home, do not try to grow any kind of plants in the area right away adjacent to the fence. Dogs are territorial, and thus their favorite path in a fenced-in yard is going to be right along the fence. Unsightly “dog paths” are the consequence of this predictable behavior.
Strategy #8: Dog Behavior Modification
And finally, consider a strategy that strikes the problem at the dogs’ end of it. That is, thus far, we have considered strategies for adjusting your landscaping in order to accommodate dogs, without giving up the goal for a beautiful yard. Right now let’s switch perspectives and notice what can be completed on the dogs’ end to solve the issue of urine spotting.