May 2018 - Green Spaces Landscaping

Monthly Archives: May 2018

May 17

Five Things for a Perfect Dog Friendly Backyard

By Audrey | How to Guides

.Five Things You Need and One Thing You Don't For The Perfect Dog Friendly Backyard

It is possible to have a beautiful garden and a dog or dogs at the same time. II can be a space that you both love to spend time and bond in. Afterall he is part of th family.Of course ,every dog breed is different but there are some elements that are the same regardless of breed.

Essential Elements in Dog scaping

  1. Border patrol

  2. Doggy Pit Stop

  3. Shade Haven

  4. Cool Down Pool or On Demand Sprinkler

  5. Dense planting

Border Patrol

Dogs like to patrol their territory, so if your backyard is already fenced, leave about a 3-foot strip between the fence and plantings so the dog can patrol the perimeter without tramping through the bed.

If the dog already has a chosen path, landscape around that route. You can also screen this trail with taller plants, hiding an unwanted view while providing a “secret garden” for the dog to explore.

Dogs enjoy patrolling their territory so consider adding a path.  Photo: Thomas J. Story

Dogs enjoy patrolling their territory so consider adding a path.Photo: Thomas J. StoryCall of the wild

Doggy Pitstop

This doesn't mean you have to accept a lawn full of yellow or bare patches.   You can create a designated easy to clean area and train your dog to go there. Useful materials for this are flagstone, pea gravel, bricks, or cedar  chips.

Yes it will take some time to train your dog to go  In the designated spot. The length of time will depend on the age of the dog.  But it is well worth the effort.

Providing a dog with only a certain portion of lawn can  help prevent urine burns.  Photo:

Providing a dog with only a certain portion of lawn can help prevent urine burns.


Shade Haven

Well, dogs enjoy the sun as much as people with their heavy fur coat. they can easily become overheated. As well. some short-haired lighter-colored breeds are susceptible to sunburn.

Dogs however are easy to please and are happy to share shade with their human friends.  Your dog will enjoy Ann Arbor pergola or canopy just as much as you will. However you may want to put in a dog house or other kind of shelter so the dog has a place of its own.

Dogs are happy to share shade with their owners on a hot summer day.  Photo:

Dogs are happy to share shade with their humans on a hot summer day.


Cool Down Spot

Most dogs love water and will find any excuse to splash around in it. Your dog will enjoy hours of fun splashing in and out of his own pool.  You would want to surround this pool with hardscaping of some kind or a deck so that the outside doesn't get muddy. there are many custom kinds of dog pools or you can simply use a child's wading pool.

Another option would be an, on demand  or motion-controlled sprinkler. This would have to be placed in a hard or mulched surface or it is in danger of becoming A mud puddle.

With dog pools your client can be as extravagant or as economical as they want. Photo: (Left) (Right)

With dog pools, you can be as extravagant or as economical as you want.

Photo: (Left) (Right)

Dense planting

Where dogs are concerned, the thicker and render the planting, the better for you and for the plants. That way they are more likely to stay out of planted areas. Another alternative is raised or mounted beds. Rock borders or low fencing is also way to keep dogs out of planted areas. 

Consider hardy ornamental grasses and ground covers for the outer edge of beds and more brittle plants in the center

Raised beds allow your clients to still enjoy gardening without worrying about the dog running through the beds.  Photo:

Raised beds lessen the chance of the dog running through the garden.



B u r c h i l l

One Thing You Don't Need In A Pet Friendly Garden

in your pet friendly garden you don't want any plants that are likely to harm your pet. This would include plants poisonous to dogs as well as any for spiny plants that could potentially damage eyes or skin.

A list of plants harmful to pets can be found here.

Mulch and hardscaping materials should also be considered carefully. Flagstones and cedar chips are gentle on paws, while cocoa mulch is dangerous if consumed in large amounts.

Plants like rhubarb, may apple, and wisteria are toxic to dogs. Photo:

Plants like rhubarb, may apple, and wisteria are toxic to dogs.Photo:


Our pets are part of the family and as such we take care of that they have a place with us in our outdoor living spaces. We want them with us and we want them to be comfortable and happy when they are with us. Taking our dogs needs into consideration in the landscape is  an extension of the care we provide for them everyday.

Dog friendly landscape involves:

  • a border  or path for them to patrol

  • an easy to clean doggie pit stop

    • Flagstone, pea gravel, mulch

  • places for them to get out of the sun

    • Arbours, pergolas, canopies, vegetation

  • places for them to cool down

    • Shallow doggie pool surrounded by a hard surface

  • Beds should be densely planted

    • raised beds or

    • low  fences should be considered to keep pets out of the  planted areas.

  • Avoid poisonous plants

  • Avoid plants with thorns or spines that could damage eyes or skin.

Check out my post on Landscaping for Cats.