If you've recently decided to welcome a canine companion into your household, you may have already noticed the challenge involved in cultivating an attractive outdoor living space when an active, rambunctious dog is part of the picture. Dog love to dig, roll, and otherwise mess up lawn and garden areas. Fortunately, there are many pet proofing strategies designed to help homeowners and their furry friend share outdoor spaces in harmony. Following are four things that you can do to make your yard and garden area pet-friendly and attractive at the same time.
Remove or Fence in Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs
Curious, playful dogs frequently tangle with the wrong plants, which can result in unplanned trips to the emergency vet. Dogs that like to dig often come across bulbs with toxic compounds such as daffodil, tulip, and crocus. Oleander and azaleas are common landscaping shrubs that are toxic to dogs as well as to humans. If you decide to grow these plants in your yard, consider sectioning them off with attractive fencing so that curious canines don't accidently ingest them. For an inexpensive fencing option, use chicken wire -- but it doesn't have to be ugly. Simply plant climbing nasturtium seeds about six inches apart on the ground next to the chicken wire, and it will soon be completely covered with beautiful vibrant blossoms.
Place Small Stakes in Flower Beds
Some dogs simply love to lie down in flower beds, and this can destroy the plants in a matter of minutes. Small stakes place in various part of your flower beds will prevent the heartache of coming outdoors to discover your favorite flowers have been flattened by a lounging canine. This works well in both annual and perennial beds, and it doesn't take most dogs long to learn that this particular areas don't provide comfortable spots to lie down.
Use Cedar Chips
One of the potential hazards of letting your pets spend time outdoors is that they may get fleas. You can help minimize the chances of this happening by using cedar chips on walkways. You can also scatter them on areas where your dogs spends most of its time outdoors. Fleas find the scent of cedar extremely unappealing and will flee areas where they are used -- don't forget to sprinkle some near your door to discourage fleas from accessing the inside of your home. If fleas are particularly prevalent where you live, you can also buy dog beds filled with cedar chips for both indoor and outdoor use.
Use Artificial Turf
Face it -- few things make an otherwise gorgeous lawn and garden area look ugly faster than worn-down grass and holes that can occur in lawns with lots of canine activity. Artificial turf makes an excellent alternative to traditional lawns because your dog won't be able to dig holes or wear a path in it. It's also a great surface material for dog runs --where regular lawn grass will turn into a patch of mud in a matter of weeks when used in a dog run, artificial turf remains green and intact. There are even types of artificial turf that have been specifically made for use in dog runs and other areas where canine traffic is high. Look for turf that has good drainage so that it's easy to keep clean, provides a soft surface, and is hypoallergenic as well as antimicrobial.
As you can see, it only takes a little effort and planning to create a backyard that has room for every member of the family, including your canine companion, and the increased enjoyment will be well worth the effort. For more information, contact companies like Bourget Bros. Building Materials.