Are You Dreaming of A Pet Friendly Backyard?

You love to garden and beautify your yard when spring arrives, but you also have a dog in the family. You may be wondering how the two can peacefully coexist; a lush outdoor space, and a dog who can spend time out there safely, without destroying all your hard work. You actually can have it all with a little planning and effort!

The BARF World Team · May 18, 2021

Are You Dreaming of A Pet Friendly Backyard?

You love to garden and beautify your yard when spring arrives, but you also have a dog in the family. You may be wondering how the two can peacefully coexist; a lush outdoor space, and a dog who can spend time out there safely, without destroying all your hard work. You actually can have it all with a little planning and effort!

Create Dog-Friendly Spaces

  • Build a doggy play area. Mark it off with wood or iron fencing, cement or stone blocks. The idea isn’t to confine your dog in the area, but just to define it. Lay down soil and perhaps some sand, and cover the area with leaves, wood, bark chips or some other type of mulch (but stay away from cocoa bean mulch).
    • To encourage your dog to use his play area (while he’s watching) bury a favorite toy (maybe a treat-release puzzle filled with snacks) just beneath the surface, then encourage him to find it.
    • Bury a few more toys right beneath the surface while your pup is watching and then let him dig them up. Next you can try and bury a couple of toys.

With repeated exposure and a little luck, your dog will learn the area is his. If he’s a digger, hopefully you’ve given him incentive to limit his digging to his own ‘yard’.

  • With warmer weather upon us, and more outdoor exposure, what are some ways you can keep your furry companion cool? One way to help your dog stay comfortable during the warm days of summer, and to prevent her from digging in soil looking for a cool place to rest, consider creating a cooling pit or kiddy pool in your yard for your overheated canine companion.
    • Another option is to dig out a shallow area that’s big enough for your pup to lie comfortably in. Spread a thin layer of wet concrete in the depression as a liner. Before the concrete dries, drill some holes in the bottom to allow drainage. Once the concrete is dry, cover it in about six inches of white playground sand. Keep the sand damp with water all summer long and your dog will love you for it. When she gets up from her spot, the sand will simply drop off as it dries.
    • You can also keep your dog cool outdoors by using a  kiddy pool. You want one that is made of sturdy, molded plastic rather than one you have to inflate. The sides of the pool should be low enough that she can get in and out of it easily.

Design Your Outdoor Space with Your Dog in Mind

  • Dogs often patrol the boundaries of their territory, so try not to plant anything around the perimeter of your yard that may get trampled. Then your pup will be free to patrol to her heart’s content and no plants will be sacrificed in the process.
    • Consider lining your dog’s pathway with greenery that feels good to puppy paws and also disguises worn areas right next to the fence or edge of your yard. You can use pine needles, mulch or other soft natural materials. Keep in mind that while stone, rocks or other hard surfaces are fine for human walkways, your pup prefers a softer surface.
    • If the pathway at the edge of your yard seems to be widening due to your dog’s patrolling activity, consider placing ornamental fencing or some other barrier along the inside edge of the pathway. This will prevent your dog from creating an unnecessarily wide path that starts to take over more of your yard.
  • An option for your planting and gardening is to plant in raised beds built with wood, decorative brick or stone. This will prevent your dog from running through your vegetables, flowers and greenery, or plopping down in the middle of them for a nap. Another option is to use container gardens.
  • For veggie and fruit plantings another option could be to build a simple fence around your garden using wire mesh with steel or wood posts. The fence should be at least 4 feet tall. Make sure to bury the mesh and posts deep enough so they remain secure. A plus side to this is keeping other wild creatures out of your precious plants!

When choosing what to include in your garden, keep in mind that a lot of chemicals used in your garden and lawn and also some trees, shrubs and plants are toxic to pets:

  • Insecticides, herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers many people apply in the spring to bring their lawns and gardens back to life are full of chemicals that are dangerous for pets. Make sure to use only pet-safe products in your outdoor space.
  • Trees to refrain from planting include almond and walnut trees, cherry trees, and trees that grow fruit that contains pits.
  • Plants that are potentially toxic include Foxglove, Deadly Nightshade and Larkspur.
  • Veggies to either avoid altogether or keep safely away from your dog include eggplant, tomato, potato, onions and rhubarb.

If you need to stabilize plants or young trees with stakes, avoid using thin wires that your dog might not see as he’s moving around your yard. Use strips of cloth instead or ribbons tied to the wires, or rubber wire guards. Also, if you’re planting young trees (especially if your dog is male) be sure to protect these young trees with wire enclosures for the first two or three years.

Keeping your fur baby happy and healthy outside doesn't mean forgoing a beautiful yard as well. With these tips both you and your beloved companion can enjoy your outdoor spaces without worry or damage!

-The BARF World® team

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What is BARF?

"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!

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