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Paws and petals: Quick tips for dog-friendly garden design

by Timber Press on February 8, 2018

in Design, Gardening

If you have dogs, take their needs into consideration when designing your less is more garden. In a small yard, space is at a premium, and some careful planning can mean a safe, relaxing, personalized oasis for you and your furry friends.

  • For dogs, particularly those left alone outdoors during the day, the most important thing to include is a shady spot. If your canine likes to hollow out a cool patch in the dirt, leave his or her favorite digging area unplanted—don’t hope to change your pet’s behavior by planting over such places. If your pet is very well-behaved, also consider adding a dedicated potty area filled with gravel.
  • Many canines have guard dog instincts, and fret if they are unable to walk the perimeter of their yard. Even in a small garden, try to include a continuous pathway around and through most of the garden. This doesn’t need to be paved or fancy—just leaving a narrow walking space through each part of the garden can be enough.
  • And dogs like play areas, too! A raised bed filled with sand or gravel will encourage your pet to dig, chew, or play in a designated area if you keep it stocked with a few favorite toys.

Susan Morrison is a nationally recognized landscape designer and authority on small-space garden design. She has shared her strategies on the PBS series Growing a Greener World and in publications such as Fine Gardening. Morrison has also served as editor-in-chief of The Designer, a digital magazine produced by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

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