How to Have a Dog-friendly Garden


Your dog is curious. When your pooch is outside, your pet will sniff every single thing in your yard. Then whenever he gets the chance, your dog will much on your plants from your full bloomed peony to your prized petunias to the most toxic herb in the garden. According to the Center for Animal Poison Control of ASPCA, they receive over 167,000 calls yearly about dogs and cats exposed to poisonous substances. These substances include compost, garden chemicals, and toxic plants.

You love your garden design, and you love your dog, too. The good news is that you don’t need to choose who or what to keep. Here's how you can make your garden safe for your dog while keeping its design and aesthetics.  

  • Start a basic obedience training

Train your dog to understand basic commands like sit, stop, stay, and leave it. Once your dog can master these commands, it is easy for you to tell your pet to practice self-control and stay away from the plant beds.

  • Protect your dog and your garden by using fencing

Your beagle finds pleasure in digging, and that’s ok. But the last thing you want to see is your dog digging your flower bed and destroying the flowers that you’ve nurtured for so many years. Save yourself from future heartbreak by putting chicken wire around your garden.

You might think of using underground invisible electric fences to preserve the scenic view of your garden. But that’s not a good idea. These types of fences use vibration and electric stimulus that warn the dog to stay away. While this can be effective and convenient (for you), it can train your dog to be afraid of beep, noise, butterflies, and flowers.

  • Choose dog-safe plants

ASPCA has a long list of toxic plants for your dog that will be difficult for you to remember. It’s easier to focus on the plants that are safe for your pet. Some of these dog-safe plants that can give a striking look to your garden are African daisies, zinnia, marigolds, and stargazers.

  • Clean your clutter and be vigilant about garden chemicals

Garden essentials like compost and fertilizers can cause poisoning. Keep all these items in safe storage as they can be fatal to your beloved pet. It is also essential to thoroughly and thoughtfully read the labels before buying garden chemicals. While most fertilizers can only cause mild diarrhea and vomiting, insecticides are deadly and can cause seizures. Before using chemicals in your garden, understand and follow the instructions. Some manufacturers will require you to keep your dog off the yard for a day or two after the application. 

  • Give your dog a personal space in the garden

Dog running around in garden

If you have extra space in your garden, make sure to give your pet a play area. In this space, keep your dog busy by putting toys and a dirt bed where your puppy can dig freely. It is also great to include treats that your dog can nibble on.  

  • Read the ASCPA website and download their mobile app

ASCPA provides pet owners with everything you need to know about poison control and first-aid during pet emergencies. 

Your dog loves to find adventures outdoors. Following these tips will allow your pet to play outside while making sure that your garden plants are safe. 

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