Pet Friendly Landscaping

Pets can often give a homeowner difficulties when making landscaping decisions.  Lawns often get spots from dog urination; both dogs and cats dig; pets like dogs, cats, rabbits and more commonly eat your prize plants; etc.  Here are some ways you can create a pet friendly yard without sacrificing aesthetic beauty:

1. Install hardscaping:

Dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets have difficulty damaging things like cement, stone, brick or gravel.  The main issue you may encounter is wear and tear on your new patio or deck.  Consult with a landscaping expert on what is best to install.

2. Plant pet-friendly herbs and grass.

There are really two concepts to the “pet friendly” plants concept.

One is, you work hard to have and maintain a gorgeous green lawn – then your pet goes and digs it up. 

A solution for this is to purchase tougher grass.  Some grasses are much harder to tear up than others.  With good research and a change in grass-type, your pet should have a much harder time ruining your lawn.  In fact, it may be completely impossible for your fuzzy friend to damage it at all.  I know my dog attempts to dig up my lawn constantly, but I have Bermuda grass and he rarely makes a dent.

If your issue is that your pet leaves urine marks on your lovely green lawn, you can consider planting clover as an alternative to grass.  It doesn’t stain the way normal grass does.

The other issue you may have is that you don’t want to poison your pet with the items you plant and the chemicals you fertilize with. 

This can be a huge problem as some plants cause illness or even death in certain animals.  The same goes with fertilizer.  If you have a pet or are planning on getting one, consult with your landscaper before you buy plants for your yard, or shop for fertilizer. 

You can also consult with your landscaper on what plants might be best for your animal.  For example, if you have a cat, she may like a bit of catnip or some mint in your yard.  Or if you have a dog, he may enjoy munching on grass set aside for him.   

3.  Designate a section of your yard specifically for your pet.

If you have enough space to devote to your pet, you might as well set up a designated area for them.  This way you can grow what you want while they get to hang out outside.

4. Install stone paths.

There are “dog paths”, which can be jarring to your landscape.  In their place, install stone or gravel paths.  Your dog gets to secure his territory, while you get a nicer looking yard.

5. Ensure your yard is properly blocked off.

Often times, cats will jump walls and wander into the neighbor’s yard, but other pets like dogs, rabbits and iguanas will generally stay in your yard if you have it properly enclosed.  Usually this entails a wall and a gate.  You can install block, wood, wrought iron, etc.  Just look at what would be aesthetically pleasing for your yard, but secure enough to keep your pet from getting lost or hurt in the big wide world outside of your house and yard.

In closing, there are many ways to keep your pet safe and your yard beautiful. Consult with a professional landscaper on what works best for your pet and your property.



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