Even though your dog may be your best friend, unfortunately you cannot expect it to know how much you value your lawn and landscape, or how much you’ve invested into creating your dream backyard in Poughquag, NY. When your landscape is built with only humans in mind, it’s easy to believe that your dog is the most badly-behaved dog in existence. You might even think they’re destroying everything on purpose. Rest assured, they are not. Dogs will be dogs, and while they are smart and obedient if well-taught, they will still always need ways to burn up their excess energy. The best you can do is build a yard with features that are either resistant to damage from pets or interactive so that his or her energy is not spent destructively.
Dogs like running around and, depending on their sizes, their paws can cause real damage to grass. Artificial turf is one solution to countering a worn-looking lawn, and can be almost indistinguishable from real grass at first glance. However, if you insist on keeping a natural lawn, consider switching it for a type that can withstand foot and paw traffic. Bermuda grass is one of the toughest grasses out there. Tall Fescue grass is another option, but it grows better in cool seasons. Alternatively, install paved walkways along paths that your pets habitually travel.
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Pathways along fences
Dogs like to patrol. Even if they are not the barking type, they will likely still follow people and other dogs up and down along the front boundary wall. If this is the case, there is little point in keeping grass or flowers there – the temptations are too strong for even a well-behaved dog to resist. A good alternative is to have a pathway running all the way along the fence. This will limit erosion of the ground, protect your lawn and keep damage to plants to a minimum. This no man’s land can either be paved or covered in mulch. However, if you do opt for the later, avoid cocoa mulch as it may contain theobromine, the same compound that makes chocolate poisonous for dogs.
Even if you have a corner where you keep your pet’s food tray and water container, fresh and flowing water is still a great idea for letting a dog cool down. Consider adding a stream or splash fountain surrounded by gravel – this will help keep the area around it well drained to avoid muddy paws. You can also have a small pond with flowing water installed. Not only your pet will love it; water features are always beautiful focal points for landscapes.
Keeping plants is by far a dog owner’s biggest nightmare, but there are some easy solutions to keep your fauna – mostly – undamaged. One option is to build elevated flower beds. You can have the beds built from stylish stones and the height will help your dog understand that it’s not part of their playground. If you would like some plants on ground level, opt for dense, hardy shrubs. Beware of plants that may be harmful to your pets, though. Talk to your landscape designer regarding your plant selection to ensure that they are as gentle to your animals as they are on the eye.