As Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire garden design and build specialists, we often create gardens for homeowners with dogs. So how do we design a build a dog-friendly garden that also looks beautiful? Here are some dog-proof tips that will keep your family pet happy and your garden in great shape.
Safeguard your dog
Security for your pet is crucial for your peace of mind. Make your garden escape-proof by installing a tall, robust fence and secure gates. Gaps in a hedge can be discreetly secured with chicken wire and ponds should be screened until your dog is used to them. Also avoid growing excessively thorny or toxic plants and make sure you close hazardous areas such as storage areas, chemicals and stagnant, lying water.
Add plants to exposed soil or bare patches
Dogs love to dig, especially when they see large, exposed patches of soil that encourages them to. So, fill in the gaps with plenty of plants. You could also build raised plant beds to protect your flowers or crops or construct low barriers using driftwood or decorative fencing to prevent your dog from accessing your flower beds, at least until they are established. Plants and lawns should be protected from dog urine where possible.
Add interest and variety for your dog
Create features, such as steps or decking with different heights and levels to your dog can enjoy a variety of vantage points. Do introduce a variety of surface textures into the garden, such as grass and bark chippings too, but never use cocoa shells as a mulch, as it is highly toxic for dogs. A real grass lawn feels good under paw and foot, and with good drainage will be usable for most of the year. Also, include a wide variety of dog-friendly plants including herbs so your dog can get to experience many different smells. Dogs appreciate having access to water in the garden. An outside water bowl will be popular, and a bubble fountain would be even more fun.
Have a designated play zone for your dog.
To prevent your dog digging up your prized beds and borders create a designated play zone for them where they are allowed to dig and play with dog friendly, resilient planting. Bury a few interesting toys there and train them to show off their digging skills! This special spot could also have a hard-landscaped area where their toys, food and water bowls are kept reinforcing the zone as theirs too. And do think about creating a quiet retreat in the garden for your dog to safely shelter in too.
Dog friendly paths, pavers, and patios.
Winding paths will provide interesting routes for your dog to follow. Brick paths and clay pavers which can be brushed and easily washed and cleaned are ideal. Select hardy plants, like shrubs and bushes along a path, that will withstand your dog’s nosing, rather than delicate flowers.
Would you like a dog friendly garden?
If you are interested in creating a dog-friendly garden, do get in touch with us to discuss your plans.