Having a yard is a great asset if you’re pet owner, but not if you’re trying to maintain a garden at the same time.
Not only does a frisky dog put your flowers and shrubs at risk, but also compost and certain plants and buds can be potentially fatal to your pooch if ingested.
But there’s no reason to choose one over the other. You can still maintain your green thumb while keeping your pooch happy and healthy at the same time.
The only completely stress-free way to have a garden is to designate a specific section for your dog by creating a separate fenced-in area. Other inclusions to consider:
Installing low borders, barriers, and/or fencing to protect plants and flowers. They don’t have to be the height of bushes at the palace of Versailles, just high enough to give your dog a cue not to enter the area. If your pooch has a tendency to run through your garden, sequester the area with a fence that’s at least 4-feet high.
If you choose a fence, make sure it’s sturdy without blocking sunlight from your plants. Think chain-link or split-rail fences or decorative garden fencing. Raised beds can protect your plants and flowers while giving your dog free reign of other spaces.
If you don’t want to ruin the aesthetic of your yard or additional changes aren’t within your financial means, make sure you take your dog on frequent walks so it can work off extra energy in places other than your garden.
Should this be taxing on your schedule, consider hiring a dog walker to handle the extra load.
A doggy daycare can also be beneficial because your pooch will get extra exercise while having social time.
Protect your dog by locking up all tools and chemicals (think rakes and fertilizers) in the garage or shed that can be securely closed and/or locked. Temporarily keep your dog out of the garden after treating your lawn or plants with fertilizers or pesticides. Better yet, use non-toxic and/or organic options instead.
You don’t have to compromise beauty for safety. Consider planting dog-friendly shrubs and groundcovers such as Smoke Tree, Red-Twig, Dogwood, Lilac, Spiraea, Elfin Thyme, Irish Moss, Labrador vVolet, Snow in the Summer, Spiraea and Miniature Stonecrop.
There are several other things to keep in mind when creating a safe garden environment for your pet that may not be top of mind, to include:
Don’t let your pet run free without dog-proofing your space first. Whatever you do, don’t scold your pooch. Punishment is traditionally non-constructive. Instead, use positive training techniques.
Proper obedience is the key to keeping your dog out of your garden and any other places that provoke mischief. Start instituting rules from day one, and it will make things easier going forward. If you can’t handle the task on your own, enroll your dog in an obedience school to speed up the process.
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