Welcome to the World of Pet-Friendly Landscapes
This year, a client approached us wanting to create a pet-friendly outdoor environment for her multiple pets. This Gainesville homeowner has sheltered many abandoned pets, but has a special place in her heart for Chihuahuas. Among the items on her wish list were alternatives to the pine bark mulch that her pets would track into the house, as well as the removal of toxic plants she had inherited in the courtyard of her home in Haile Plantation. With this in mind, we turned her outdoor space into a haven for her pets. Here are some tips to help dogscape your own yard.
Best & Worst Flowers to Plant for a Pet-Friendly Garden
Know before you grow and your pets will thank you! Many common landscape plants are surprisingly toxic to our furry friends, so avoiding them in areas where pets roam is the best practice. Most animals have an innate sense to pass over plants that are not good for them. If you have a nibbler or a chewer, take precautions to replace poisonous plants with a friendlier variety, especially if your pet is in a confined area. Refer to https://www.aspca.org/pet-care /animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants for more information.
Design landscaped areas with dense plantings, and dogs will be more likely to stay out of the beds. Plant in raised beds or on mounds, and start with one-gallon or larger plants. For our client, we used chipped granite mulch, which not only discouraged the pets from going into the beds but also delineated the turf from the plants. Additionally, we replaced the standard spray system with a drip irrigation system. Well Worn Path Dogs need exercise; paths give them a designated space to run as well as perform their perceived job — patrolling your property line to keep intruders at bay.
Paw-Friendly Turf (Endorsed by Cesar Milan)
Need a low-maintenance solution for your lawn? Consider artificial pet turf. Not only will your pets love the texture, artificial turf can withstand the wear and tear of their paws and claws, no matter how many pets you own, and it allows for water drainage. We used curvilinear bed lines to create a more natural look in this courtyard.