wet golden retriever laying on lawn

We love our furry friends, but sometimes, they can really ruin your lawn and landscaping.

From digging holes and trampling your garden to dotting urine spots across your turf and bringing in ticks, dog owners have their hands full. But like anything in life, getting to the root of the problem can help. You must start by understanding your dog’s habits and then design a pet-friendly yard just for them.

Let’s look at some of the common landscaping woes dog owners experience and discover the best ways to “dogscape” your property:

For dogs who like to Dig & Eat Plants

Some breeds just love to dig! It’s in their blood. Dogs instinctively dig for a number of reasons, including to create a cool spot to lay, to stash away his favorite toy or even out of boredom. Hunting dogs like terriers will try to dig up prey, even if they have a bowl filled to the brim inside.

Consider the following landscaping tips for dogs who like to dig:

  • Add a sandbox. For persistent pooches, consider adding a designated digging area in your lawn, such as a small sandbox or mound.
  • Include more hardscape. A beautiful patio or sidewalk will not only benefit your family and curb appeal, but it means less surface area for diggers. Check out these stone landscaping ideas!
  • Close off your garden. Use an attractive wooden picket or lattice fence to enclose your garden. Consider lining it with blueberry or strawberry bushes, which are safe for dogs to eat (if you don’t mind sharing your fruit!).
  • Choose sensible plants. Some plants, when consumed, can make your dog sick. For example, dog owners should steer away from foxglove, iris, monkshood, and lily of the valley. Ambitious planters can add flea-warding and pet-safe herbs like lavender, rosemary, and mint into the mix.

For pups who like to Play & Roam

If you have two dogs who like to rough-house or a very energetic dog who likes run around your yard, you could benefit from “child-proofing” your property in a few ways.

For playful or adventurous pups, try these dogscaping tips:

  • Select sturdy plants. Delicate plants might not survive a trampling or tumble by your dogs, but sturdy plants like shrubs and trees will. Avoid using thorny plants to deter them, because they likely won’t work. Simply keep the soft floral arrangements in planter boxes on your deck or safely nestled in high-positioned pots.
  • Use gravel, shredded mulch or wood chips. Dogs with long hair tend to pick up everything they pass by. The right materials won’t follow your animals into your home, so stick to gravel, shredded mulch or wood chips instead of dirt. Be wary of certain liners, such as cocoa mulch, which can be poisonous to canines.
  • Put up fencing. Line a border around your property to keep your dogs from roaming too far or intruding on your neighbor’s lawn.
  • Consider creating running tracks. Dogs are smart enough to understand that sidewalks and hardscape paths are easy to walk across. For heavy-traveled areas, consider adding a track for both your pets and your family to enjoy. Explore some of our hardscape landscaping services to transform your space.
  • Don’t forget to ward off ticks. Dogs who like to play and roam can bring ticks into your home. Learn more about ways you can safeguard against these harmful pests with tick control treatments or try some of our favorite natural tick repellent tips.

For canines who are Territorial “Watchdogs”

Some dogs can be very territorial of their turf! We all know the breeds who bark at the mailman or chase rabbits to the property line and abruptly stop, knowing all trespassers are off their lawn.

Make your property dog-friendly for territorial, or outdoor-loving pups, with these landscaping tips:

  • Provide boundaries. Planting bushes or trees along your border can give your dog a “patrol line” and discourage him from roaming too far off in his pursuit of an adventurous (and scared!) squirrel.
  • Give them something to “mark.” Many territorial dogs will urinate on your plants and grass, causing yellow or brown spots. Consider adding a piece of driftwood to serve as a marking post or planting urine-resistant plants such as Euonymus japonica (also known as the Japanese spindle tree) and Burkwood osmanthus.
  • Provide comfortable spots for your dog to lay. Watchdogs or outdoor-loving canines enjoy simply taking in their surroundings. A structure such as a pavilion, gazebo or pergola could provide some shelter from the sun and make the perfect “perch.” Adding a tree with adequate shading and soft grass could also a nice spot for your four-legged friend to rest.

Watch for Chemicals!

At the end of the day, we all just want our furry friends to be happy and safe. Consider choosing organic or hybrid fertilization treatments to keep Fido away from pesticides.

Dogscaping your property will not only help to keep your pup out of trouble, but it could actually improve your outdoor aesthetic. Create your own landscaping plan or download our Curb Appeal Guide to create a space that’s both pet-friendly and classy.