Gardens can be incredibly stimulating to dogs. They’ll run around, dig and use your lawn as scratching posts. The trick is to create a pet-friendly garden that doesn’t lead to dug up soil and half-eaten vegetable beds.
Below is a simple guide to gardening with dogs, from what to plant to tips on how to create a dog-friendly garden.
Instilling general obedience
Aiming for general obedience is your first step to keeping a garden safe and fun for dogs. Contrary to popular belief, old dogs can learn new tricks. Puppies can start understanding commands as early as six weeks. So take the time to ensure your furry friends are well acquainted with tricks like, “stop”, “heel”, or “sit” and words like “no”.
A tip is to teach your dog in a quiet, least distracting place. Reinforce instead of punishing. Always remember to reward them with treats each time they follow. These commands are not only helpful to keep a dog-friendly garden. It’s also useful to ensure you’re living with a well-trained canine.
Dedicating a pet area
Similar to gardening with kids, dedicating a patch for your canine friends makes a huge difference in keeping your garden safe and thriving. Give your dogs an area to lounge around. Put their favorite toys in there as well as a water bowl for when they get dehydrated.
When your dogs have their own space in your garden, they learn more about respecting boundaries
Planting for dogs
It’s not only your garden that needs protection from your dogs. It’s also the other way around. Dogs also need to be safe in and around your plants. This means finding the right crops and seeds that won’t turn out to be toxic to them.
For example, lilies can be deadly to and may lead to kidney failure. Hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils can also be extremely harmful to dogs. Shrubs like azaleas and yews can be equally dangerous.
Apart from toxic plants, gardening with dogs also means preventing the use of rat poison, herbicides and other chemicals as much as possible. Since many organic fertilizer and compost can also ne dangerous to them, it’s best to keep your four-legged companions away.
Grass is also massive temptation to dogs. You can choose to hardscape instead, and opt for bricks, stones, and pavement. If you want to keep it greener, there are also tough grasses that can withstand paw traffic. Bermuda grass works great during warm seasons. Tall fescue grass is a fantastic alternative during cold season.
Using natural repellants
Your vegetable garden smells like a salad bar to your dogs. The next best thing is to opt for natural repellants that would trick your pets into thinking that your veggie patch is something else.
Vinegar and apple bitter sprays are great options. You can also plant marigolds in between your vegetables so it will keep your dogs, and other garden pests away. Sprinkling powdered mustard and chili flakes will help prevent your dogs from coming near your veggies too.
The key to gardening with dogs is to create a co-existing space. Keep this guide in mind so you could be closer to a dog-friendly garden where everything, and everyone will thrive.