There may still be snow on the ground here at When Pooch Comes to Shove headquarters but that doesn’t mean the gardening hasn’t begun. From yummy vegetable gardens to fabulous floral displays, the delicate little seedlings are being started. Nestled in the tiny greenhouses, soaking up sunshine from the warm indoors, each little guy will find a home outside as soon as the threat of frost is gone. BUT – then the threat of d-o-g is upon them.
The soft ground and smells of spring are hard to resist for any pooch. With a little planning and these tips, you can easily dog proof your garden so everyone can enjoy the backyard.
When you are planning your dog proof strategy, it is important to make choices that are first, best for your dog, and second, healthy for the plants. Start with landscaping and ground cover that is easy for dogs to walk on and doesn’t imbed in the fur of long-haired pups – but also one that will let the ground transfer moisture so mold doesn’t grow and your plants can thrive.
After choosing the base of your gardens, decide on plants that are going to be tough enough to stand up to a romp by Fido. Smaller pups can probably romp through the violets once or twice without a lot of damage but a Labrador may not be so gentle. If you have a rambunctious pup, your best bet might be a hearty foliage garden full of hostas with just a few special annuals scattered about.
And finally, decide on a grass that will withstand your pups outdoor visits. Artificial lawn will wash up in the rain or with a pressure washer while sturdier grasses can handle the urine burn better than delicate grass varieties. There is also food additives for your pup that will reduce the nitrogen in the urine, stopping the lawn burn and topical treatments for after Fido does his duty. It is best to review all of your options and make the choice that is best for you and your family.
Vegetable gardens will typically have a fence to keep out all the critters so it isn’t quite as important to follow all of these tips but they are still good to keep in mind.
Most of all, make it a priority to not choose any plants that could be toxic or cause allergic reactions in your dogs or cats.