Everyone has their own version of the “American Dream”. I once heard it was to grow up, get married, purchase a home with a picket fence, have 2.6 kids and a dog running in the yard. I am not sure how you have 2.6 children, but I do know that sometimes it is easier to keep a dog happy than it is to please a toddler. If you have a pet, there is a good chance that they are an integral part of the family and you would like to situate your home to be pet-friendly as well. Pet-friendly yards are growing in popularity and are not that hard to achieve with these helpful ideas to keep your hounds happy.
Our furry friends might have descended from the wild wolves of the west, but truth be told, they deal best with boundaries. The first thing that comes to mind about letting your dog wander into the yard is that you need a fence to keep them on the property. Fencing has come a long way since chain link and has become more aesthetic along the way. Whether you are opting to line your whole property or create a dog run in an allocated portion of the property, vinyl and aluminum fencing are durable options to keep the kids and pets in the yard, as well as acting as a beautiful enhancement to the property.
When creating a safe haven for your pup, talk to your landscape designer about plants, flowers, sprays, and mulches that are non-toxic. There are many plants out there that can be harmful to your pet if ingested, so establishing a landscape full of safe plants can help to give you that added peace of mind. Mulching your landscape beds is one way to give your backyard the finished look, but did you know that there is a mulch made from cocoa shells that are actually harmful to your dog? Some homeowners like cocoa mulch because it has a hint of chocolate scent, is a rich dark brown which seems to get darker as it ages as opposed to fading, and it also retains moisture quite well. While this type of mulch repels garden pests, it seems to attract animals with its scent, but it will upset your dog’s stomach just as much as if it is a huge bar of chocolate.
Water features are a great addition to your backyard, for so many reasons. The sight and sound of running water is a focal point that is quite relaxing that seems to melt away the daily stressors. Do you know who else loves the water feature in your yard? That’s right, your dog! Dogs can spend hours playing in and chomping at water jets, so why not incorporate a water feature to the yard? Splash fountains and shallow ponds are ideas for backyard aesthetic and will provide endless freshwater fun for your dog. As a safety measure, a shallow step or a slight slope on one side of the pond will ensure that your dog can get out of the water with ease.
Open yard space is perfect for your kids and pets to play together all day long. Have you ever heard a parent say that they didn’t like a worn-out kid at the end of the day when it comes time to rest for the night? Leaving ample space for everyone to run around and have fun during the sunny summer days is one key to backyard happiness!
When your kids’ energy is spent and they retire indoors, wouldn’t it be nice to have an area outside for your dog to relax and dry out from all the splashing they just did in the pond? Planting shade trees in a designated area in the yard is perfect for family members and pets alike to rest and take a breather from the summer sun. Incorporating heat-reflecting flat stones or keeping the lush grass under these shade trees will be like heaven to your pooped-out pooch!
There are many outdoor features that you can incorporate into your backyard that will keep all family members and pets happy all year long. From swimming pools to pergolas, MasterPLAN Landscape Design can help you visualize the full potential for your backyard with custom full-color 3d designs of your outdoor living spaces. Being able to “fly-through” your 3d design allows you to see how every feature will look and function before any ground is broken! You can take advantage of the 3d design of your custom backyard by reaching out to MasterPLAN. When you are ready to transform your backyard, we are ready to welcome you and your pets into the MasterPLAN family!
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