Your pets are your best friends and loyal companions to the end. However, balancing their needs with those of your landscape can be a challenge at least. Whether you’re worried about maximizing playtime fun with your pet, keeping your pet safe, or creating a garden that fido won’t destroy in his daily digging, there are many factors you have to account for during landscaping before you can sit back and drink in the warmth and beauty of your garden.  Landscaping for pets is possible with a little bit of planning.

With a bit of planning, you can build a landscape that will keep both your pets and yourselves happy with the greenery and refreshing experience of your outdoors. There are plenty of features you can work with that are pet-friendly. Coexisting with your furred friends has never been easier.

Provide a Safe Water Feature

In the dry heat of the Californian summer, your cats and dogs will be looking for ways to cool off. You can give them a wet welcome while providing your landscape with a relaxing centerpiece by installing a water feature. Artificial water sources can be an asset and provide a relaxing atmosphere to your yard with a natural fixture and the tinkling of falling water.

If you decide on a water feature, pick out one that’s beneficial to your furry friends as much as your yard. Avoid a body of water like a pond that your pet will have trouble entering and exiting. Certain designs of streams can also be inconvenient and potentially dangerous for your overheated pet. A fountain will provide spectacular beauty and the relaxing sound of rushing water, coupled with eager barking as your dog runs back and forth through the water streams.

Help Prevent Urine Spots With Hardscaping

Dogs go poorly with grass lawns. You can avoid the ugly brown splotches by swapping from grass to hardscape. The benefits of making this switch go beyond easing maintenance work. Hardscape requires no tedious, expensive, and labor-intensive lawn care and maintains its looks regardless of watering, which is especially valuable during California’s drought season. Dog owners would get especial value out of patio stone and masonry because they minimize the damage dogs can do with their digging and urinating. Put stone paths down where your dog walks. They’ve claimed their spots, and you can’t change that.

Mulch also provides great value. It provides the same maintenance benefits as stone tiles. In addition, it can act as an attractive space filler around your flower beds and shrubs. If you intend to grow plants in the mulch, select drought-resistant plants like Agave since mulch heats up in the summer. Don’t lay the mulch directly against the plants, and build a patio.

Know Your Lawn Type

If you’re dead-set on having a lawn, a green carpet, then make sure you are planting the right species of grass, or you’ll rack up the maintenance bills. Some types of grass hold up better to paw traffic and people traffic and other forms of abuse like others. Warm-season grasses are perfect for central California as they can withstand the heat of summer. The toughest of the warm-season grasses is Bermuda grass. These grasses are tougher, but dogs will still leave urine spots behind.

There is an alternative leafy green carpet that won’t leave urine stains: Clover. It does not stain like grass lawns do, and has many advantages in durability and water use over a grass lawn.

Find Friendly Plants

Some pets, especially cats, will chow down on the vegetation from time to time. While cats are usually quite selective about what they eat, just be sure to keep any toxic plants out of your garden. Once you’ve crossed all the toxins off your list you can set about planting as many friendly greens as you can to create a pet-friendly garden.

Populate your garden with good plants to make your pet at home. Safe plants include bamboo, rose, violet, lavender, and summery sunflowers. Lavender has the added benefit of reducing fleas for your dog. On top of those, there are some garden herbs which are as fine for your cat as for you, including dill, sage, rosemary, and tarragon. These will even improve your cat’s health when eaten.

Poison Ivy is a basic no-no as animals suffer the same itchy fate as humans. You should scour your garden and eradicate any encroaching trace of the pest. Cats especially will avoid most harmful plants, but it’s better to be safe than sorry as the consequences of them consuming something hostile are dire. Lilies and foxglove are beautiful but toxic to your cat’s kidneys. Other bad plants include Wisteria, Oak, Peony, buttercup, crocus, and daffodil.

Invest in Barriers

One way to keep dogs out the garden parts of your yard or inside your lawn is to build a fence. A basic physical barrier to keep your pet inside. They also had a cute border to your garden. The white picket fence is a classic and picket fences in general work. Wooden lattice fences are just as attractive. You can also fence off a specific play area with hardscaping for your pet, and leave the rest of your land untouched by man’s best friend.

There are lesser boundaries. Edging your flower gardens with rocks can protect your lavender from destruction by your pets. Don’t even think of using metal edging that will scratch up your poor pooch. You can, however, install a metal cage around your trees to protect them from scratching by cats and urinating by dogs. The most important part is that you have established barriers between your pet and your garden.

K&D Landscaping, Inc. – Your commercial and residential landscape design, installation and maintenance company serving Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley & Watsonville, CA.