There are upward of 80 million pet dogs in the U.S. today, living in as many as 47 percents of all households; many people feel as though their homes are not complete without the companionship of dogs.
So, it makes perfect sense that home landscaping is done to accommodate both people and their pets, so all can enjoy the outdoors. When done properly by the best landscaper services, dogs can be safely included in landscape planning – and the results are often bark-worthy!
Landscape Attractions for Dogs
Just as people enjoy a beautiful, landscaped yard that appeals to their many senses, so do dogs, although they have different appeals and senses.
The best landscaper company knows that providing entertaining ways to keep active dogs happy is the main goal when landscaping for canines, a goal to keep them out of trouble with features to enjoy. Following are some of the ways a landscaper can accomplish this:
Provide Paths – To avoid damage to grass and beds, offer the option of paths. Dogs like to run along fence lines and other places they find important. Many landscaper services will watch a dog’s behavior and install paths where they wander to protect landscaping and keep dogs clean.
Fence Off Out-of-Limits Areas – Even with paths, the best landscaper services understand dogs still like to explore. If there are areas that are off limits, they should be made inaccessible with a fencing surround or with an electronic dog fence. Another easy way to keep most dogs out of planted areas is to plant densely, so there is little room for them to venture into beds.
Include What Dogs Like – The best landscaper company knows different dog breeds like different things. Some dogs like to swim or run, while others like ferreting things out and exploring small spaces. Dogs favor areas that include room to stretch their legs, places to hide, and even ponds or other water features. Stumps or stones around perimeters provide a controlled place for marking. Doghouses – which are easily decorated to match the surrounding landscaping, or camouflaged with plantings – are welcome additions. Slabs and large, flat stones for sunning are a favorite of many dogs, as well.
Landscaping Safety for Dogs
Providing attractive and fun surroundings for dogs is a great way for homeowners and their pets to benefit from the effort and money put into home landscaping; however, it must be safe.
Following are some of the ways a landscaper can ensure animal safety:
Safe Fencing – Landscaper services must know what a dog’s personality and habits are in order to choose the right fencing. It should be both attractive and prevent scaling or jumping. Electronic fencing is an option and can be useful for keeping dogs out of off-limit areas. Others may need underground barriers or foot-boards on fencing to prevent tunneling.
Pet-Friendly Plantings – The best landscaper services know some plants are toxic to pets if ingested. It is important for landscapers to be aware of which species will cause sickness or injury if chewed and use only pet-friendly plants, shrubs, trees, and mulch.
Shade and Shelter – Dogs suffer from heat and the elements, just as people do. Providing shady places, such as trees, doghouses, or covered patios, is important to keep dogs comfortable and healthy.
Water – Good landscaper services understand water features provide more than just tranquil sounds when there are dogs around. So, any water features should be shallow enough to prevent drowning accidents and filled with untreated water should dog decide to help themselves to a cool drink.
These are only a few ideas for creating the perfect canine landscape. With a little imagination and attention to detail, any homeowner can turn a plain yard into a great sanctuary for themselves and their dogs.
With the help of a knowledgeable landscaper who understands the challenges involved in the safe, pet-friendly design, a beautiful yard can be brought to life for the enjoyment of all!