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Dog-Friendly Garden

Crafting a Dog-Friendly Garden Without Impacting Property Value

There’s no denying the British penchant for pups — with a good one in four households boasting a dog as part of the family. But this often creates a unique conundrum: how does one cater to their canine while maintaining a garden to be proud of, without risking the dog’s safety or compromising property value?

Today, with knowledge accumulated from countless dog owners’ experiences, creating a dog-friendly garden isn’t an insurmountable task. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dig into how to shape your garden into a paradise both you and your furry companion can enjoy.

Embrace Dog-Safe Flora

Contrary to popular belief, a dog-friendly garden need not be a barren one. Yes, there are certain plants that are no-go zones for dogs due to their toxicity. But that doesn’t mean the colour and character of your garden must be sacrificed. There are myriad vibrant options that are completely dog-safe, from the elegant Camellias and colourful Coral Bells to the iconic Snapdragons and radiant Sunflowers.

Moreover, consider the resilience of your green choices. Hardy, robust shrubs can fare better under the inquisitive explorations of your canine companion, potentially serving as a protective buffer for more delicate blossoms.

Avert Toxic Temptations

Whilst you can include many beautiful, dog-friendly plants in your garden, it’s equally vital to be aware of the potentially harmful ones. Unfortunately, several common garden favourites pose a risk to dogs. So, before you dig a new hole or introduce a new four-legged member to your garden, make sure you’ve done your due diligence.

Dog-Friendly Garden

Strengthen the Boundaries

Whether your dog is a dedicated digger, a leaping enthusiast, or sees themselves as the next canine escape artist, securing your garden’s perimeter is crucial. A high fence can prevent the most ardent of jumpers, and a sandbox or buried chicken wire can deter the most persistent of diggers.

Despite these measures, remember: the best guard against mishap is constant supervision. There’s no better substitute for keeping a watchful eye on your pooch’s outdoor antics.

Elevate Your Garden Beds

For those with a dog partial to a bit of excavation, maintaining a vibrant garden might seem an uphill struggle. Enter raised beds — a solution that adds an extra layer of protection for your delicate plants, fruits and vegetables. Consider adding wire mesh around the border for an added line of defence against high-jumpers.

Go Organic: Prioritise Pooch-Safe Practices

Dogs and chemicals are like oil and water — they just don’t mix. When it comes to fertilisers and pesticides, opt for organic alternatives whenever possible. If you have a pond or water feature, be mindful of your dog’s natural inclination to quench their thirst there — treat the water accordingly to prevent any mishaps.

Mindful Mulch Selection

Mulch, while an excellent soil conditioner, can also pose a hazard for dogs. Avoid mulches made from cocoa bean shells, which can cause the same complications as chocolate in dogs. Spent hops can be equally problematic. Instead, opt for biodegradable mulch like conifer bark or leaf mould — they’re safe for your furry friend and just as effective.

Say Goodbye to Gravel

Gravel, while visually appealing, can create a whole host of issues for dogs. The small stones can trigger an obsessive digging behaviour and pose a choking hazard if swallowed. It’s best to keep temptation at bay and opt for a gravel-free garden design.

Provide Shade and Shelter

Dogs will naturally seek shade and shelter according to their needs. Ensuring your garden offers ample options for both will contribute to your dog’s overall happiness. While not requiring extravagance, consider features that offer both sun and wind protection. However, in extreme weather conditions, always bring your dog indoors.

Designate a Play Zone

Playtime is a significant part of a dog’s day. By designating a specific area for this purpose, you can minimise the potential for boisterous behaviour causing damage in other parts of your garden. The key to this is creating an association between play and that particular spot — incorporating food and water bowls can help cement this connection.

Secure Outbuildings

Sheds and garages can become hazardous areas for curious canines, hiding countless potential dangers. It’s crucial to ensure these areas are secured and off-limits to your dog to prevent any unfortunate accidents.

Consider an Outdoor Dog Bath

Lastly, an outdoor dog bath can be a valuable addition to your dog-friendly garden. Not only are they great for rinsing off muddy paws before re-entering the house, but they can also provide a refreshing cooldown after a fun-filled day of garden play.

Creating a dog-friendly garden that doesn’t compromise on aesthetics or property value is a delicate balancing act. But with these steps, you’re well on your way to creating an outdoor haven for both you and your beloved canine companion to enjoy.


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