May 19, 2010
Contrary to many people’s fears, dogs and gardens can coexist quite nicely. They don’t have to be an either or situation. Dog-loving gardeners can take a few precautions around ground rules, containment and training, plant selections, and lawn and garden treatments.
Ground Rules: avid gardener Yvonne Cunnington suggests setting ground rules first. She says dog owners should be clear about how they want their dog to behave in the garden, decide where the dog is allowed to go, and be consistent.
Containment and Training: As a dog-loving gardener, there is an easy way you can keep your dog away from plants without building an expensive fence that hides the beauty of your garden. Hidden underground electronic fences can be used in a variety of ways to keep your pet safe in your yard as well as to keep your dog out of specific areas such as your garden, the children’s sandbox or the swimming pool. With a Hidden Fence, your dog wears a special collar that warns him when he is approaching an area that is off-limits. The dog is trained to understand that when he hears the warning beeps he shouldn’t go any further. Learn more about DogWatch Hidden Fences and products.
Plant Selections: Take care in choosing non-toxic plants. An excellent resource to help in your selections is the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
Lawn & Garden Treatments:
Non-Toxic— Robin Tierney author of “Dog Tip: Warm Weather, Lawn Care and Outdoor Safety Guide” suggests seeking non-toxic ways to maintain your yard and garden by finding alternatives. To control: 1) slugs—caffeinated coffee, products containing iron phosphate, 2) insects—canola oil, 3) critters—castor oil, 4) weeds—white vinegar. You can learn more useful tips by visiting her post here.
Chemicals—If you decide to use a chemical treatment, insecticide or fertilizer be sure to keep your dog off the lawn for the recommended amount of time (usually 24 hours). Read all information carefully.
**Additional Resources worth exploring are:
Dog Friendly Gardens, Garden Friendly Dogs by Cheryl S. Smith
Dogscaping: Creating the Perfect Backyard and Garden for You and Your Dog by Thoma Barthel
Create the perfect garden and yard for you and your dog. Everyone will have a much happier spring and summer!
Do you have any dog-friendly garden suggestions or resources to share?