Dog-Proofing a Garden

There are many good reasons to let a pet dog run free outdoors, as long as it is safe. It's good for the health of the dog, and can help to prevent them making a real mess inside your home. Making a garden safe for a dog to play in can be more difficult than initially expected. Dogs are curious creatures that will try to find their way out of a garden, and could also ruin the hard work of avid gardeners. So how can you create a dog-friendly garden?

Plants

Dogs can ruin plants, but it's hard to predict which ones will appeal to them, and which they will choose to ignore. There are some simple steps you can take to protect your plants, including erecting small fences around particularly important and vulnerable plants. Although most dogs are capable of jumping small fences if they really want to, they will tend not to. Other preventative measures you could take including buying larger plants which are less susceptible to canine attack.

Pathways

Dogs like running around in open spaces, which is good for them, but you might want to consider adding pathways to a garden, as they will often be used by dogs, and might save the flower bed being dug up. Solid stones are better than gravel as they are less noisy. You could also consider planting the plants closer to each other, so the dog does not see a route through a flower bed.

Shade

I
t's really important that the garden can provide the dog some shade in hot, dry months, especially if they are going to be spending large amounts of time outside in the garden. A cool, shaded area should be provided for them to relax and cool down, out of the glare of the hot summer sun.

Poisonous Plants, Pesticides, Insecticides and Herbicides

If your dog does have a penchant for munching on plants, then you might want to find out which, if any of your plants might be poisonous to dogs. Believe it or not, daffodils, foxgloves and even rhubarb can be poisonous to dogs, so it's well-worth doing some research. Herbicides and pesticides won't be poisonous, but they might upset a dog's stomach. Consider less chemical-based solutions to reducing pests and weeds. If you do need to use chemicals on a particular part of your garden, then try to keep the dog well away!

Grass

Decking, patios and gravel are great surfaces for gardens, but dogs love to run, and they do that best on a grass lawn. If you let the dog out in the garden, try to make some room for him or her to run. If they have a way of exercising they are less likely to develop an interest in archaeology. Sometimes dogs will start to eat grass, and there are several contrasting explanations for this behaviour. Some say it is for additional fibre, while some say it is just from curiosity and stupidity. If you want your dog to stop eating your grass lawn, then you could consider installing an artificial grass lawn, which requires minimal maintenance and provides a luscious green lawn twelve months per year artificial grass for dogs.