- If you have a dog, chances are you have a garden or an outside area where you want him to play and have fun.
- Do you sometimes despair at the thought of being able to maintain a beautiful garden, while at the same time keeping your dog happy?
- It’s essential to keep your dog safe at all times in your garden – whether the risk be from plants, tools or garden chemicals
Most of us love both our gardens and our dogs, but sometimes the two don’t seem to go well together.
Your initial thoughts should be to consider the safety and health of your pet when you introduce anything new into your garden, as there are many potential poisons and risks. It’s best to garden as organically as is possible, to avoid any potential chemical contact by your dog, especially as he may chew any plants you manage to grow. Avoid cocoa mulch too, as this is a derivative of the chocolate plant and may prove toxic to your dog. There are many plants that are toxic if eaten by your dog, as can bulbs which are very enticing for a dog to dig up and chew. Keep well out of your dog’s reach.
Begin when your dog is a young puppy
The sooner your begin training your pup the better, as soon as you introduce him to your new home and garden, so he understands which parts are out of limits. It’s not a good idea to leave your dog out in the garden alone, especially for any length of time, as they may become bored and will discover ways to keep themselves amused – by digging up your favourite plants!
Build a fence
A fence is a good plan to protect your borders and flower beds when even a low fence will deter even the most enthusiastic dog. It’s a good idea to inspect your fences too, at least once a month, to make sure there are no escape routes into next door’s garden. Dogs like to patrol their boundaries, so it’s wise not to plant too close to the perimeter fencing, and allow them a pathway to walk around. You could cover this with gravel or bark chippings to cover up any worn areas.
Construct a dog kennel
If you’re leaving your dog at home in the garden while you’re at work, consider providing some shady cover as protection from the sun and heat of the day. A kennel placed on gravel or paving will allow him to remain safe with a place to rest. Always make sure that there is an adequate supply of fresh, clean water at all times.
Make a dog-friendly play zone
All dogs love to dig for bones and toys, so try to encourage him to dig in his special area and this will hopefully detract him from digging in your flower beds. Prepare an area separate to your garden, and cover with bark chippings or mulch. Let your pet see you burying some of his favourite toys, and also hide a few that he doesn’t know about. Then sit back and watch the fun he has excavating them when he should begin to realise that this area is for his fun and enjoyment.
A kiddies paddling pool filled with water will give him hours of entertainment, while also helping him to keep cool on hot, summer days. All dogs, especially larger breeds need mental and physical stimulation each day, so make sure you allow playtime or long walks daily.
Try container gardening
If all attempts to prevent your pooch from digging up the flower beds fail, plant your favourite vegetables and flowers in raised beds or containers. Most plants will grow and do well in these, where it’s less probable they will be trampled by doggy paws.
Choose hardy grasses for your lawn
Just because you have a dog, doesn’t mean you can’t have a lush, green lawn. It’s a fantastic area to sit and play with them, and for them to roll and relax. Hardy types of lawn seed make the best choice, such as self-repairing grasses are your best options. Your lawn can suffer deathly consequences if you allow your dog to pee on well-tended grass, leaving brown urine-scorched circles. A handy tip that is worth a try, is to add 2 dessert spoonful’s of tomato juice to your dog’s food dish each day. Apparently the balance of nitrates is changed making the urine less harmful on the lawn.
Have a fun time
Enjoy time spent in the garden with your dog and don’t be upset if he uproots a plant or knocks over a pot. Plants will always grow back again, whereas quality time spent with your dog is much harder to replace.