The Weather is Getting Better! Here are Some Landscaping Do's and Don'ts for You and Your Dog

Your dog may be your best friend, but he’s not your yard’s BFF. Here are some guidelines to help you all get along. You can create an outdoor space that both you and your pooch will love with a few simple landscaping tweaks, like switching to organic, pet-friendly fertilizers.

DO: Give up the idea of having a perfect yard — a place that’s perfect for you and your pet is better.
DON’T: Let your dog rule the roost. Train him to respect boundaries and do his business in a designated spot.

DO: Create a water feature so your dog can cool off on hot days.
DON’T: Install a pond or pool that is hard for your dog to enter and exit.

DO: Add a sandbox your dog can feel free to dig in. Bury bones and treats at first to pique his interest.
DON’T: Think that sandboxes are maintenance-free. Keep a shovel and rake nearby to cover holes and clean waste.

DO: Edge flowerbeds with rocks or foot-tall shrubs to protect your posies.
DON’T: Use a metal edging that can cut your pooch.

DO: Select plant species that reduce fleas, such as lavender, rosemary, and mint, and others that are good for dogs to eat — blueberries, strawberries, wheat grass, and oat grass.
DON’T: Select plants that can make your dog sick, like foxglove, iris, monkshood, and lily of the valley.

DO: Landscape with urine-resistant plants, such as Euonymus japonica (Japanese spindle tree) and Burkwood osmanthus.  
DON’T: Freak out when you find yellow and brown spots in your lawn caused by urine. Reseeding is a simple and easy cure for those spots. Or create a potty station.

DO: Create paths or walkways along routes your dog already travels. 
DON’T: Think you can redirect your dog away from areas he’s already claimed. Don’t resort to planting thorny shrubs or other plants to deter him. You’ll both be sorry.

DO: Use organic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides on lawns and plants.                           DON'T: Spread toxic lawn and plant care products, which can harm dogs. A National Institute of Health study showed that professionally applied pesticides were associated with a 70% higher risk of canine malignant lymphoma.