Every dog owner knows that their yard belongs to their pet just as much as it belongs to them, if not more! The perimeter of your property is where your pooch loves to play the most, so it’s important to keep that space safe and comfortable for him, while still looking tidy and green for you. It’s hard to know the best ways to take care of your front yard when you share it with a four-legged friend; too much attention can take up your time, and not enough care can leave you with an unsightly lawn. So what’s a dog loving homeowner to do? Follow along and we’ll give you a few great tips on how to make your yard work for you and your furry friends.
Pet-Friendly Fertilizers and Pesticides
Fertilizing your lawn and treating your lawn for pests is an important aspect of owning a home, and is beneficial for both you and your pet. However, lots of chemicals are often used in the process of getting your grass to be green and bug-free, and this can be bad news for your dog. It’s no secret that dogs love to eat grass now and then… so imagine how bad it could be if your pup started snacking on a freshly treated lawn. If you must use chemicals to treat your lawn, be sure to keep your pets away for the recommended amount of time, and limit your dog’s exposure to the lawn for a while afterwards. You can also opt for organic, pet-friendly options to help keep both you and your fur babies a little safer.
Mowing and Lawn Edging
It may seem intuitive to mow your lawn often and keep your grass short for your pets to play in, but that’s not always the best choice. Lawns mowed high, and blades of grass kept at about 3″ long tend to be the healthiest. This is because the blades of longer grass tend to have stronger roots, and the shade of the longer grass helps to keep soil moist longer, as it isn’t exposed to the sun. By keeping your grass blades a little bit longer when mowing and lawn edging, you’ll end up with a lusher, greener yard that’s more comfortable for your pet to play in.
Watering your lawn regularly is also another aspect to creating a dog-friendly front yard. Keeping the soil moist helps to keep blades of grass looking their best, and also at their strongest. When your grass has well-watered, strong and deep roots you won’t have to worry about playing fetch and losing patches of grass nearly as much.
Another reason to keep a water source within reach is well… dog urine. A classic killer of grass, dog urine is notorious for creating unsightly spots on your lawn if left to bake in the sun. If you don’t already have a sprinkler system installed, consider keeping a hose at hand every time your doggy does their business in the front lawn. After they are finished relieving themselves, simply hose the area down to dilute the urine and your grass will continue to look its best!
Inspect Your Flower Beds
There’s danger for your pets lurking in the garden beds, and most homeowners don’t even realize it until they are in the after-hours veterinary emergency room. There are a number of known popular flowers and plants that are hazardous and even deadly to pets, so be sure to know what you have in your garden before you let your pet roam. Hydrangeas, rhododendron and azaleas are among a few of the known popular plants that are toxic to dogs, so check your garden and flower beds to make sure you’re not accidentally creating an unsafe environment for your pet.
Keep Trash Secure
Do you typically keep your trash cans in the front of your home out of habit and convenience? Wherever you keep your trash, be sure to make it safe and secure so your pup can’t try to get into it. Dogs seem to love nothing more than rooting through gross, stinky trash, right? Keep your dog from strewing yesterday’s garbage all over your front yard and be sure to have all of your garbage kept safely out of their way.
Make a Shady Space
After a long walk or on a particularly hot and sunny day, your pooch will really appreciate a shady place to rest and relax in the front lawn. If you don’t already have natural shade from mature trees, consider installing a covered area on your front porch for some relief from the sun. Don’t forget to leave out a water bowl with fresh water; dogs can easily get dehydrated too!
Set up Some Fencing
If there’s one thing that every dog has in common, it’s unpredictability. Even the most obedient, well-trained dog can get a little wily and won’t be able to resist darting across the street to catch the neighbor’s cat, or chase away an offending squirrel. If you have a pup that’s always trying to escape, fencing in your front yard is an excellent option for you. This will help to set up boundaries for your pet, and if done right, can be a cute curb-appeal feature to your home. Setting up a fence is also a great idea for neighborhoods with high foot traffic, and will keep neighborhood kids, bikes and other animals off your grass and out of your property.
Sometimes, it’s not your pet that’s the problem… but the pet of a thoughtless neighbor. It’s infuriating when other pet owners don’t clean up after their pet and not only creates a mess for you, but can also ruin the look of your lawn. A gentle, friendly reminder by the way of humorous garden signage can go a long way to helping further set up boundaries and protect your lawn.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to making your yard a safe and enjoyable space for you and your pets. However, with some visual tweaks and new, simple habits, you and your pup will be able to enjoy a comfortable, safe and beautiful lawn with ease!