Has your lawn gone to the dogs? Between yellow spots & trampled flowers, we certainly have our challenges ahead of us this Summer to maintain an attractive, dog-friendly yard.
One of the most common complaints among dog owners is digging. This annoying & destructive behavior not only makes a mess of your yard, but it also makes for one dirty dog. Dog dig holes for a variety of reasons; maybe your pet is following a scent & searching for something buried in the ground? One way around that is to establish a digging area in your yard, filled with sand & soft soil and topped with wood mulch for easy digging. You can easily train your dog to dig only in its digging pit by burying bones and treats in the pit. Keep a rake nearby so you can easily refill your dog’s holes and smooth them over.
Some other types of digging, like those near fences and gates, may mean your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, fear or excitement. One way to overcome these issues is to provide your dog a safe, comfortable shelter like a dog house. Holes that your dog then lays down in usually indicate that your dog is looking for a cool place to lay down. By providing more shade in your yard, especially by planting trees, you can curtail your dog’s digging for comfort. The most damaging type of digging occurs along the foundation of your house. Digging in this area allows rain and moisture into the ground beneath your house, which can ultimately cause settling. You can keep your dog from doing this by laying landscape fabric between your house’s foundation and your yard. Top the fabric with chicken wire, then cover with ornamental rocks. Since dogs don’t like how rocks and chicken wire feel against their paws, this will help discourage digging in this area. Landscape experts recommend a 12-inch border between your house and any mulch or ground cover plants.
Use rocks as much as possible for ground cover. Dogs don’t particularly like digging for rocks, so by laying rock in & around plant beds you’ll save your flower garden from being trampled on. Creating raised beds is a good idea as well. This creates a digging position your dog will find uncomfortable. Lastly, selecting good edging around ground-level planting beds is important; you’ll want to install sturdy, non-metal edging that won’t cut your dog’s paws if it does decide to dig.
Happy gardening! Here’s hoping that these little lawn tips help you create a dog-friendly, compromising landscape for you & your pooch to enjoy all Summer long.