The Ultimate Guide to Dog-Friendly Gardens

If you had to choose between having a dog or a pristine backyard, which would you choose?

Meet Spot, his routine involves running after shiny things and seeking dog treats. Not to mention his love of running amuck with his friends Flossy, Pip and Fido at the dog park.

Other hobbies involve digging holes in the backyard and leaving urine patches all through the yard (he knows how to have fun).

Here are some great ideas to help you plan the perfect backyard you and your fluffy friend will love.

Add some decking

Decks are a great way to separate the lawn and garden section of the backyard from your beloved fluff ball.

Advantages: This allows for the dog to enjoy the outdoors without damaging the grass while you are out.

Disadvantages: The space factor – if you have a small space to work with this is not the option for you.

Pro-tip: Build a gate and build gaps according to the size of the dog.

The Ultimate Guide to Dog-Friendly Landscaping

Train them well

Teach them new tricks to take their business to a specific spot -this may take some time but will be well worth it in the long-term.

Advantages: This is beneficial if you want to keep your lawn and garden in top condition, not only will it minimise the wear and tear caused by your pet, it’ll also reduce the amount of mess you need to clean up!

Disadvantages: Teaching an old dog new tricks takes time, so start them young.

Pro tip: Puppy school is a great place to start if you are time poor.

Fence them in

If you’re going to let your fluff ball wander freely, block off your precious petals. After spending a few weeks seeding, soiling and watering your garden, you want them to grow – digging and disruption from pets will limit your garden’s potential.

Advantages: Fencing and retaining walls add substance to the backyard and are perfect for growing plots of veggies and flowers.

Fencing your landscape provides good drainage, prevents soil compaction and deters slugs and snails from getting to your plants.

It’ll also serve as a border to prevent your dog from entering and damaging plants.

Disadvantages: Different plants need different boxes, this will add limitations to your choices.

Pro tip: Choose similar looking containers like brick or wood to add cohesion.

Choose your grass wisely

Dog urine contains concentrated nitrogen oxides which burn your grass and create brown patches. Making the right grass choice can eliminate this problem.

Advantages: Aesthetically speaking – nothing beats a well-maintained lawn.

Disadvantages: Brown patches and maintenance costs – availability of the grass type and potential imitators can be a problem.

Pro tip: We recommend Kikuyu for larger active dogs (requires full sun). Otherwise, Buffalo grass is tough and great in winter or shade/sun areas.

Neutralise the urine immediately by diluting with water.

The Ultimate Guide to Dog-Friendly Landscaping

Set up a hardscape

In the animal kingdom, stone or paved walkways are the perfect place to mark your territory.

Advantages: Low maintenance – moisture and heat resistant materials are available.

Disadvantages: Initial cost of decent hardscape options can be high.

Pro-tip: Choose wisely, as porous materials like limestone can stain easily – make sure to seal your hardscape.

Add durable texture with mulch

There is a wide range of mulch to choose from to add colour and texture to your yard without using messy dirt. To keep Spot safe, avoid cocoa mulch as it contains theobromine which can be toxic for dogs.

Advantages: Mulch retains moisture in the soil proving beneficial for plants. Mulch also breaks down over time contributing to good soil health. Also, dogs love to get dirty – so this is where well-placed fencing comes in.

Disadvantages: Mulch can cause damage to the crown area of plants as a result of soil buildup over time.

Pro – tip: Review the mulch levels over time to ensure the soil buildup is minimal.

Install raised box planters

It may not sound attractive, but it is beautiful and adds a new pet-friendly element to your backyard.

Wood or stone box planters keep your plants out of your pet’s reach and give your landscape a creative edge.

Advantages: More space for planting small plants.

Disadvantages: Can be expensive to implement custom planting boxes, depending on materials used.

Pro – tip: Stain your planter box to get your ideal finish.

The Ultimate Guide to Dog-Friendly Landscaping

Add some water features

Give your dog somewhere to cool off on hot days but be wary of building ponds which are hard to enter and exit for dogs.

Advantages: Fountains or water features add a modern and unique touch to your backyard and act as a drinking fountain for pets.

Disadvantages: Maintenance and expense.

Pro–tip: Installing a pump will maintain the rotation of the water and reduce slime and grime build up.

At Revell Landscaping in Perth, we believe you shouldn’t have to limit your landscape just because you have pets – that’s why our experienced team of landscape designers and installers can show you the best ways to create a landscape that you – and Spot – will love.

Ready to start planning your landscape now? Get a quote or call our friendly Perth team today.