Pet-Friendly Landscapes

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Let’s face it.  We love our pets and our pets love the outdoors.  But sometimes, our lawns don’t always fair well when our pets are in the picture.  There is plenty to consider when creating a pet-friendly landscape. 

It is sometimes easy to identify where your pet frequents – the lawn is usually full of dead brown spots.  The protein in your dog’s diet is broken down and excreted as nitrogen in his urine according to the experts.  Fescue or perennial rye tend to be less sensitive to nitrogen when compared to Bluegrass or Bermuda.  If planting this type of grass is not an option, train your dog to use a particular section of the lawn, then dilute the area with water once or twice daily.  Typically, a urine spot will not damage the lawn if diluted with a sprinkle of water within 8 hours.  Keeping your pet well-hydrated is another way to dilute the nitrogen in his urine.

Keep in mind as well common plants that are toxic to animals and make sure they are not in your yard for your favorite pet to ingest: 

  • Lilies
  • Rhododendrons
  • Agave
  • Hydrangea
  • Azaleas
  • Oleander
  • Hyacinth
  • Wisteria
  • Ficus

Also be careful of bagged potting soil and mulch that contains cocoa bean (commonly used for its rich color) – the Theobromine in cocoa can be lethal to canines.

Lastly, be mindful that fertilizers and pesticides commonly used to improve landscapes can be harmful to pets.  To ensure safety, use pet-friendly products exactly as outlined on their labels, and store the chemicals in an area your pet cannot access.

Following these simple guidelines will allow you and your pet to live outdoors in harmony.

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