So many of us share our lives with our pets, and it is important that we take a little time to learn about Dog Friendly Landscape Design. There are many considerations when it comes to our animals.
Creating outdoor rooms is a wonderful way to expand the usable space of a home; so we create dining areas, seating areas, sunning areas, play areas for the people in our lives. What about the animals in our lives? Taking time to think about the function of various areas in relation to the animals that share your space is a great way to get started. When I think about areas for my dogs I want to create three separate areas of use, the living room (where they can relax with the family and just hang) the play room (where we can throw a ball, chase them around, or let them chase each other) and of course their bathroom. If they spend a lot of time outside without you, it is important that you allow them both sunny and shady areas for different times of the year and different weather conditions. They should also have a permanent shelter if they will be kept outdoors often.
There are also other considerations, does your dog like water? Do you want to allow your dog access to a pond or perhaps it’s own pond? I have known more than one family whose fountain has become the dog’s second water bowl. Make sure you think about whether this is okay with you, and if not place it accordingly.
Is your dog the protector of the garden/home? You don’t want to encourage barking, so assess your particular pet and situation to find out if they need to be screened or have an open view. There are plenty of tricks to help both situations from the types of plantings you use to soothing sounds or fencing.
Beware of toxic plants! There are many plants that can poison your dog, and even more that can poison your cat so be sure to do plenty of plant research. Read articles and access the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants when you are designing your garden.
If your dog has behavioral issues such as pacing or digging, dog trainers have noted that a well designed garden with plenty of distractions is a great way to help alleviate those issues.
These are just a few of the things I take into consideration when designing a garden that has dog friendly landscape design built it. Pets are such a wonderful part of our lives, it is important to think about them right from the start. Who better to share your garden with, than our family?
Thank you Candice for sharing Jack, our poster child for dog friendly landscape design. Churchill, Thor and a kitty in a garden were also captured (by me) on film.
If you would like to create a Cat or Dog Friendly Landscape Design please think about calling me to help you with that design! I love to collaborate with my clients, and enjoy the challenge of incorporating “everyone” in the family in the design. Call me at 661-917-3521 or visit my website and contact me there.