Many of us share our yard spaces with our pets, and there are several things we can do to make the space more enjoyable for us and our pets while creating less work or trouble for them. ourselves in the process.
Dogs are usually the primary pet that uses our yards, although some people have cats, rabbits, or even chickens in their yards. Cats, rabbits, and chickens are sometimes loose in the yard, but in most cases these animals are caged or fenced off prohibited areas of the yard, so this article will focus on dogs.
Often our dogs use the yard all year round, so they know the area much better than we do. If you are considering changing the landscaping or are frustrated that your dog is creating problems in your yard, before making any changes, first observe your dog and how he interacts with your yard.
Does your dog have a favorite spot where he likes to lie in the sun?
Does your dog dig in certain areas or chew plants?
Does your dog run along the fence to bark or play with the dogs or children on the other side?
Knowing your dog’s habits will help you make changes or modifications to your yard. Some modifications can be made to correct a behavior, but we also want our dogs to enjoy the yard.
Many years ago I had moved into a new house and needed to landscape the whole back yard, which was quite large. I noticed right away that my three dogs were running along the back fence barking and playing with my new neighbor’s dogs.
I knew I wanted a large garden space so that’s where I decided to place a large raised garden box the full length of the back fence. I also put up a small fence a few feet in front of the garden box so my dogs can’t get into my garden and can’t stand against the back fence to run and bark.
I solved two problems in that I got the big garden I wanted and didn’t bother my neighbors with barking dogs. My dogs always had the run of the rest of the large yard, so I thought that was a fair compromise.
If your dog has certain places that he really likes, like sunbathing or hiding places, try not to change those places, by eliminating an activity that your dog enjoys.
In my current house, my dog loves to sunbathe in the grass right next to the patio, which really helps pack that grass down and it doesn’t look very healthy. In this situation, I’m willing to accept that the grass won’t always look good in that area because I don’t want to take away its tanning space.
Raised beds can be created to plant your vegetables or flowers and can help keep plants safe and dogs out; but remember that dogs love to sunbathe in these raised beds if they can figure out how to get in, so have a plan to protect new plants in the spring.
Pay attention to the landscaping materials in your yard. For example, metal edging is dangerous for your dog as it can cut paws or legs and can also be dangerous for children playing in the yard. I found out the hard way that the cheapest price I paid for metal edging ended up costing me more in the long run to pay for vet and doctor visits.
Rock mulch for yard borders can also be somewhat dangerous for pets and children, as it can have sharp edges, depending on the type of rock. In this case, wood mulch may work better and is often better for the breathability of your soil; however, some mulch products are toxic to pets, so be sure to research before purchasing.
There are many plants in your garden that are poisonous or toxic to dogs. A small list includes: peonies, crocuses, chrysanthemums, daffodils (the bulbs), tulips (the bulbs), foxglove, chokecherry, boxwood, yew, cardinal flower, sweet pea, tomato leaf and many houseplants . The list goes on, so do some research before planting if your dog likes to chew or eat plants.
Additionally, some trees, such as black walnut and buckeye, and some fruit trees have leaves and seeds that can also be poisonous to animals. If you compost, make sure the compost heap is dog-free as there can be many toxic foods that end up in the compost bin. If your dog ingests something you suspect may be poisonous or poisonous, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Center 24-hour emergency line at 888-426-4435.
You can try protecting your plants from chewing dogs by using pepper spray made with jalapeño pepper or cayenne pepper and mixed with water. Spraying this on the plants won’t harm the plant or your dog, and that may be all it takes for your dog to choose his own chew toys instead.
Dogs also love chewing on your sprinkler parts because they really can’t tell the difference between their toys or something sticking out of the ground. For bubblers in rock or mulch areas, you can try covering with chicken wire or burying transmitters under the rock or mulch.
Urine stains in your lawn are caused by your dog crouching down (whether male or female) and depositing a large amount of urine, which contains a large amount of nitrogen, into the grass. . Unfortunately, there are not many remedies for this problem. A few include creating a dog pen with mulch or gravel, or you can simply resign yourself to reseeding or reseeding each spring to fix these patches.
For me, I fix these spots every year because my dog enjoys rolling around and lounging in the grass so much that using a dog pen wouldn’t be a fair compromise.
By the way, many studies of home remedies and products that claim to help with this problem don’t work, so save your money!
However, there is a new herbal product on the market called DogTuff, which claims to be resistant to urine and foot traffic. This grass is related to Bermuda grass and is drought tolerant and does best in sunny locations. If this product does what it claims, it will not entirely solve the problem, but may just be enough of a solution for you and your dog’s needs.
Also remember that chemicals used in your yard, such as fertilizers or insecticides, are toxic, as are snow removal products used on decks, such as ice melter. Be sure to research these products before purchasing them to ensure they are safe for pets.
For more information on landscaping for dogs, contact Aimee Kanode, extension officer for the Morgan County CSU Extension Office, at 970-542-3542 or [email protected]
Morgan County resident Leslie Weinsheim has completed the Colorado Master Gardener program and writes articles for The Fort Morgan Times and Brush News-Tribune about what she learned as a public service to the community.