How do you mix dogs and gardens successfully? Well I reckon that’s a question best shared between a gardener and a vet.

Selecting the right dog for the yard and you’re lifestyle is so important and designing a garden to suit both owner and pet is also another very important consideration.

Choosing the right dog will make the world of difference to how both your pet and you enjoy each other. If you are an energetic person then select a dog that loves to run and enjoy being active with you. On the other hand if you are more sedentary, then a dog that loves to sit on a lap will be ideal.
Of course there are other considerations when it comes to choosing your pet. Such as dropping hair, attention to grooming, size and temperament.

Having a dog that’s not much of a digger is certainly one way to preserve your garden however, there are other ways to get the dog / garden balance right.

First is design. Creating a garden that allows your pet to have long runs on hard surfaces like a driveway will reduce long bare strips on the lawn that tend to turn to mud once winter sets in.

Speaking of lawns, pet friendly lawns are ones that self-repair. Running types like Kikuyu, buffalo and this one, couch l spread naturally, covering over bare patches quickly. Dogs love to spend time on the lawn so give them a tough and resilient one that will stand up to their playtime.

Even with a garden, all dogs need regular exercise. Talking them for daily walks is a wonderful way to give both your pet and you much needed fitness. Plus it does impact positively on their behaviour when they get back.

Many times, dogs are blamed for damage around a garden that can often be avoided. When a dog is bored, it can be destructive so you need to introduce activities and toys that capture their attention, especially when you’re not home. There are plenty of food hiding dog toys and puzzles that will keep them amused for ages available at your local vet and pet store.

When a dog gets running, especially large ones, they do tend to bowl through plants, especially borders. So planting tough is the way to go. Even with all the training, you’ll need to put up a fence or barrier in places where don’t want your dog to go like veggie gardens.

Japanese Box is a super hardy plant that looks lush and healthy all year round. For something a little higher into the hedging type, Murraya’s are another top dog friendly plant.

Thick borders also help protect plants from damage. And plants that don’t produce seeds or burrs, especially at dog level, will prevent those getting on to and matting fur.




About The Author

In the Garden is an exciting new local South Australian TV program on Channel 9 this Summer & next Autumn showcasing the best ‘green’ stories this state has to tell. Check out the latest in garden trends, new plants and top tips to keep those gardens blooming.