Dog-Friendly Landscaping Tips

Five Ways to Dog-Proof Your Yard

Dog-Friendly Landscaping Tips

Listen, we get it. Our four-legged friends are part of the family. Their undeniably cute faces, waggy tails, and unconditional love bring immense joy to households around the world. As cute as they may be, sometimes dogs can really “ruff” up our outdoor living spaces. From splotchy dead grass to tracks of mud over our freshly mopped floors, dogs can be high maintenance.

Every year, homeowners call Southview Design with a similar sentiment. “Our dog did a number on our yard, and we need a solution." While it is tricky to completely “dog-proof” a backyard, there are a handful of landscaping tips to help avoid the most common troubles.

low maintenance dog run with synthetic grass overlooking lake

This custom dog run features artificial grass that was specially designed for household pets.

Synthetic Turf For the Win

Are you fed up with those unsightly patches of yellow grass scattered throughout your yard? Or perhaps it’s the tracks of mud all over your floors and furniture? If this sounds like your situation, you are not alone. Synthetic turf is one of the most effective ways to "dog proof" your backyard. In fact, there is a little saying in the landscaping industry:

”Synthetic turf keeps your yard vibrant and green, and your puppy's paws squeaky clean”.

OK, we may have just made that up, but it is absolutely true! Synthetic turf has become increasingly popular in recent years, with some brands so convincing that it's hard to see the difference between the artificial stuff and the real thing. What is even more exciting is that many companies are now offering brands of synthetic turf that are specifically designed for family pets.

Consider a Dog Run

Another effective way to “dog-proof” your backyard is to reduce the amount of space they have to roam (i.e., get into mischief). For many homeowners, a dog run can be the ideal solution. During the day, your pet is confined to a designated area. Here they are free to do their business and explore. On special occasions, such as a backyard BBQ, Rover can be invited into the main outdoor living area. Viola! Problem solved.

backyard golden retriever with ball

Prioritizing a low-maintenance landscape design can help homeowners avoid some of the most common pet induced backyard troubles.

Focus on Low Maintenance

As beautiful as they may be, sometimes those backyard flowers and shrubs just aren’t worth the headache. Dogs like to explore, and this often equates to rummaging and stomping through the garden looking for something to stimulate their senses. Not to mention, they often look for plants and shrubs to "do their business." Here are a few tips to reduce maintenance.

  • Instead of planting flowers and plants directly into the ground, consider using pots and container gardens to add a pop of color to your backyard.
  • Replace mulch with rock. Rock means no topdressing, and no shreds of wood tousled throughout the yard.
  • Prioritize hardy plants, such as Hosta and Rudbeckia. These types of species can handle a little roughness here and there.

Dogs are creatures of habit and tend to use the same route to get around the yard. One solution is to hardscape these "high traffic" areas.

Hardscape High Traffic Areas

In many cases, the most frequented areas of your yard tend to be the areas that cause the most problems. Patios and pathways will not only reduce wear and tear to your lawn, but also the amount of dirt and debris your pet tracks into the home.

Keep the space fun for Fido

It is important to remember that dogs are naturally curious and explorative animals. It's not necessarily their "fault" when they dig in the dirt or run through the garden. Pets thrive when their senses are stimulated. They enjoy new sights, smells, and things to chew. On the contrary, pets may get into mischief if these sensory needs are not being met. From backyard toy boxes to agility equipment, or our personal favorite – the doggy fence window – there is plenty we can do to ensure our pups stay happy and fulfilled while outside. At the end of the day, you know your pet best and what type of backyard activities will keep their tails wagging!


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