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How to make your garden dog friendly

How to make your garden dog friendlyDog friendly garden

When you are gardening or sunbathing in the garden dogs enjoy nothing better than trampling through the garden’s undergrowth sniffing and nibbling at anything they find. You can’t always see what mischief your pooch is up to, and so it is important to know how to make your garden dog-friendly. This article will advise you on how to ensure your garden is a safe area for your dogs to roam.  

Tips on how to maintain a dog-friendly lawn

Having a dog-friendly lawn gives dogs and children the ideal space to run around and play in, and are safer than stone and gravel surfaces. Caesar Millan, a leading expert on dogs, advises that gravel can cut their feet while artificial grass and stone surfaces can over-heat and burn the dog’s footpad.  A lot of dog owners find that grass is the ideal dog-friendly surface as it is soft, warm, and doesn’t become uncomfortable on bare-feet in the sun. 

Upkeep of that lawn however, can prove hazardous to a dog’s health. John, director of Mowers Online, an expert in lawn-mower safety, advises that advances in noise reduction technology for electric models of lawn mowers are proving to be increasingly dangerous dogs. Petrol lawn mowers are louder and scare dogs away, whereas with electric mowers (due to lower levels of noise) dogs are less cautious and even approach them. This can cause significant injury to your four-legged friend. Moreover, some electric models have power cables that can cause a dog to trip or to get tangled in them as they play. John recommends that dogs are kept inside or away from the grass when the mower is in use. 

If your dog is using the lawn to do its business then it is important to make sure the grass is trim and tidy. A mown lawn makes it easier to locate where the dog has gone to toilet and easier to clean. The RSPCA stresses how important a faeces free environment is for the dog’s health. Dog poo is highly toxic to your lawn causing decolourisation and can contaminate water sources. The poo can also house parasites such as hookworm and diseases that can infect your dog if not disposed of promptly. So, having a well-maintained lawn is essential to your dog’s health.

How you can create a toxic free garden for dogs. 

A dog’s urine can burn and discolour grass. Some gardeners use chemicals to treat lawns that can are toxic to dogs. To create a dog-friendly lawn you should remove all chemical fertilizers from your garden. Another popular pro tip is to give your dog a dash of tomato juice that will help to reduce the acidity of your dog’s urine and prevent damage to your lawn. Diana Alfuth, a leading horticulturalist, states that this myth is false and it is the nitrogen that damages the grass. Pesticides, slug pellets and other kinds of chemicals used to protect plants can also put your dogs at risk. It is best to have chemical free garden. The RSPCA has complied a list on how to avoid dog poisoning in the home and the garden, as well as the most common poisons for dogs. 

Some surprisingly common garden plants can also be a source of toxins to dogs. Some of the most common plants that dogs can have a bad chemical reaction to include: – 

  • Daffodils
  • Foxgloves
  • Sweat Peas
  • Yew trees

The Dogs Trust has compiled an extensive list of plants that are toxic to dogs . Kiki Kane of has created a list of popular and colourful plants that are dog-friendly. To ensure your garden is safe for dogs you should plant and create your borders with these plants in mind. 

How to make your garden a safe-haven for dogs

Dogs need a safe, and shady space to hide in the garden for those days where the garden can get to hot. When the heat is pouring down dog’s love to trample through the over-grown borders of a garden and find a shady patch of cool soil to lie on and this is one of the reasons you should ensure your borders contain shade creating non-toxic plants for canines. So, when you are designing your borders make sure you design a few places where your best friend can bunker down and enjoy the shade.  

These shaded areas should be supplied with fresh water on hot days to make sure that your dogs are well hydrated, and not over heated. You should make sure that nothing in your garden collects stagnate or algae covered water as this can also be toxic and harmful when ingested. 


These are easy tips to follow and keep in mind when designing a safe garden for dogs. The most important things to remember are that stone or gravel surfaces can harm their pads, to remove toxins from the gardens, and to build them shaded dens to relax when it’s sunny. Do you have a great tip to share? We’d love to hear from you.

Written by Ella Hendrix

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