Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dog friendly landscaping

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile - I've been compiling these "dog friendly landscaping" articles for a long time.

A few years ago I decided to completely fence in about half of the land I own behind my house, and at the same time flatten and get rid of the dense bushes, rocks, garbage, and buried cars that are very typical of the area I live in here in Spryfield - at the time I had at least 3 buried cars in my back yard - one of which is still visible and part of the landscape!

I spent $6,000 to put up chain link fence - but if I had to do it over again, I'd put up wood privacy fencing. In some of the below articles - they suggest you put up fencing that the dogs can see through so that the dogs won't bark at things they "can't" see behind the fence - I don't think that those writers have actually lived in fenced yards that their dogs CAN see through!

So this summer I've invested about another $1,000 to buy vinyl winged slats and am in the process of filling in the chain links to give what they advertise as "90% privacy".

It certainly is pretty - a lot prettier than the plastic tarp I've been putting up every other summer, anyway. And I just verified tonight that it stands up to whipper snipping - which is a good thing.

After I wrote this post tonight I got a great email from Janet who writes the "reigning cats and dogs blog" - and she's a huge gardener, she suggested that "If you are looking for privacy, the fastest growing thing is a good sturdy shrub, like dogwood or nine bark or lilac. You can probably get lilacs for free from anyone who has them. And of course another great privacy screen is virginia creeper ... which grows like a weed and imho is so lovely in the fall" as well, she said "I have oregano all through my yard ... it smells great when i mow the lawn and its very soft underfoot. Its one of the most invasive herbs and once ya start it its impossible to stop : )))" - those are some great tips! Thanks Janet!

If you want to trip backward through time - I have a category called "My backyard" to see cute pictures of the dogs playing in the backyard and various videos of them playing - along with the original landscaping and blah blah blah...

The articles below have tons of good tips - some of the ones that I like suggest having paths through your backyard so that the dogs can run - and taking the grass from those paths - like installing brick paths or patio stones - not having grass in your entire back yard - I like that idea.

I know that Daisy starts out in the middle of the lawn and rolls and rolls on her back and just basically wears out the lawn as the summer goes on - what can I do about that? I have no idea - but she certainly enjoys it. That's what she's doing in these photos.

On somewhat the same topic, but somewhat different - a long time ago I found a really neat article, and it's all about getting rid of your lawns altogether - it was called - "Beauty by the Yard" - Project Aims to replace traditional lawns with productive gardens - I thought I'd put it here because I thought it was such a neat idea - you certainly can't eat grass. Our dogs can, but we can't - our dogs can still pee on vegetables.

Paw friendly Landscapes website - also has a facebook fan page that sends out regular tips that show up on your newsfeed

Links to articles about dog friendly landscaping that I've come across -

How to landscape a dog friendly garden

A place for us all

Make Room for Rover

Landscaping for Dogs

Landscaping with Fido in mind

Petscaping - Dog friendly ways to share your landscape

8 tips for landscaping with your dogs


  1. Thanks for this Joan, those links are going to come in handy! I tried to get that sort of info from some local landscapers at the home show this year but none had much to say other than "put down pea gravel" :(

  2. The only problem with chain-link is the repeated need to check for holes. My dog tends to dig under it or (if it droops), just jumps over it. I ended up going with a 5'9" aluminum picket fence with wood slats and it did the job just fine...and I don't have to keep checking it.
    Great article, going to post this on the K9 Travel mugs facebook page for other dog lovers.

  3. Don't I know about the dogs digging holes under the chain link fence thing - I've got rocks lined up along a lot of the fence - and another thing is that you've got to be vigilant if you bring a new dog into the house that's a different size or temperament than the other dogs - especially if you foster - because your resident dogs might not be able to get through a certain hole under whatever fencing you have - but a new dog coming in might be able to poke through a smaller hole that's been around for years that nobody else has bothered with - and suddenly you've got a missing dog! So that's something you've got to be mindful of if you've got a fence and you bring a new dog into the family.