How To Create A Dog Safe Garden

Apr 30, 2024 | Garden, Maggie Lane Designs, Pet Health, Pets, Tips and Tricks

Happy Wednesday everyone!  How To Create A Dog Safe Garden.  Spring is here and Mr. TAL and I have been working hard to put in new edging around the house, raised beds for plantings, and creating plans for a new shed.  I have plans for a new herb garden and with everything going on, we are cautious to keep the gardens and yard safe for Jake and Maggie.

Ok…so how do you keep your yard safe for your pet?  Read on for some simple tips and tricks to do so!  I’m self-taught and somewhat of a newbie when it comes to an herb garden and definitely a newbie for planting vegetables but what I have done, I’ve enjoyed very much and created blog posts which I’ll include in this post. I just found the perfect show to help me learn what to do.  If you are into flowers, plants, and creating a well planned and functioning outdoor area, check out the show Homegrown on Discovery.  I just found it and I’m addicted :-).
Jake and Maggie are always outside with me and they love running around getting into everything.  Maggie finds sticks and Jake loves laying in our boxwoods!  But when they see me doing something new, their curiosity peaks and they are right next to me so I’m always careful what and how I’m planting.
How To Create A Dog Safe Garden |
Choose Dog-Safe Garden Plants
Spend some time researching which plants are safe for dogs and which are considered toxic. Remember: A particular fruit or veggie can be safe for dogs, that doesn’t mean the green plant-parts are as well.
Fruits and Vegetables: Foods like carrots, green beans, and cucumbers are generally safe. However, onions are other members of the allium family contain compounds that can be toxic to dogs. You’ll also want to be careful when planting tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes themselves are not toxic to dogs, the green parts of the tomato plant (i.e the leaves, stems, and unripe fruit) contain solanine and tomatine, which can be harmful if ingested in large amounts. Symptoms may include gastrointestinal upset, weakness, and confusion.
See an older post that I did on Castor Bean Plants – Castor Bean Plant Toxic To Dogs
Herbs: Herbs like dill, basil, parsley, and mint are considered safe for dogs, but avoid planting chives or lemongrass.
Flowers: If you want to include flowers in your garden, opt for dog-safe varieties such as sunflowers, marigolds, pansies, petunias, or roses. Avoid plants like lilies, tulips, and azaleas.
If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic food or plant, contact your local veterinarian immediately. If their office is closed, you can call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.
Check out my post when I planted Foxgloves – Is Foxglove Poisonous To Dogs And Cats?
How To Create A Dog Safe Garden |
Create Physical Barriers
Even if your garden is filled with 100% dog-safe plants, it’s still best to create a barrier between them and your pup. This will help prevent potential damage to your garden beds (especially if your dog is a digger). Plus, it discourages your dog from peeing on your plants! Dog urine can contain concentrated nitrogen, which, when applied in excess, can “burn” plants and disrupt soil pH levels. Then there is doggy poop. As you can imagine, feces may contain bacteria and parasites that can contaminate soil and pose risks to human health if vegetables are grown in contaminated areas. Some barrier ideas:
Fencing: Install a sturdy barrier around your garden to keep your dogs out. Some commonly used materials are chicken wire or a pre-fabricated wooden lattice panel. Whatever you decide on, choose a fence design that is tall enough so your dog can’t jump over it.
Raised Beds: Consider using raised beds for your vegetables and herbs. Not only does this help with soil drainage and weed control, but it also makes it harder for dogs to access the plants.
Containers: Grow herbs and small vegetables in containers that are placed on elevated surfaces, like tables or shelves. This helps keep them out of reach of curious canine noses.
Engaging Dog Run:  Dogs are natural patrollers. They love to run along the fence, find high ground to observe from and navigate obstacles. Have you ever seen a backyard where the dogs have literally worn a path through the grass that marks their favorite route?
If you don’t want your dog creating their own run, build an engaging one for them. Instead of grass, which will eventually become a muddy mess, choose hardscapes, stone, gravel or mulch. Make the run interesting; don’t put it in an out-of-the-way spot on the side of the house. Your dog wants to be in the mix and see what’s going on — both inside and outside of its yard.
Go a step further and bury tunnels, making the run go over and under the tunnels to add interest. Got a dog that loves to dig? Let them! At some point on the run, build a sand digging pit and encourage your pup to dig there instead of under your fence.
Other deterrents to keep your dog away from plants, etc.:
*Raised beds, fences and other physical barriers
*Strategic planting of hardier plants on the perimeter and delicate plants in the interior
*Barriers or moats filled with prickly plant materials such as juniper, holly or pinecones
*Motion-activated sprinklers, lights or decoy predators
*Natural deterrents such as vinegar, hot sauce, coffee grounds or orange peels
How To Create A Dog Safe Garden |
Use Safe Gardening Practices
Avoid Harmful Chemicals: Opt for organic and pet-safe fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides in your garden. Chemicals can be harmful if accidentally ingested by dogs or absorbed through their skin.
See my older post:  Is Weed And Feed Toxic To Dogs?
Secure Tools and Equipment: Store sharp gardening tools in a secure place that’s out of your dog’s reach.
Keep a Watchful Eye
Supervision: Keep an eye on your dog when they are in the yard, especially around the garden.
Work on Commands: Commands like “Come,” “Leave It,” and “Drop It” can save canine lives.
Regular Inspections: Routinely check your garden for any signs of damage or potential hazards. Remove any fallen fruits or vegetables, as these can attract your dog … along with other uninvited animals.
How To Create A Dog Safe Garden |
Create Dog-Friendly Zones in Your Backyard
Designate specific areas of your backyard as dog-friendly zones for activities like playtime and potty breaks:  This will help entertain your dog while also discouraging interest in your garden. Make sure to provide shaded spots and set out freshly washed and filled water bowls for your dog to rest and hydrate. Also, if you have enough space in your backyard, consider designating one area for doggy enrichment activities. Some ideas include:
Dog urine kills grass: The exception is clover (and there’s plenty of research to show why clover lawns are beneficial). But if a clover lawn doesn’t appeal to you, you need to figure out a way to teach your dog to use a designated potty spot.  Also be careful when you invite other doggie friends over for a play date.  They to will be curious about your yard and mark their spot.
*Note: If you have a dog or have dogs that pee on your lawn, add in a little white clover with your grass seed this year. White clover is dog urine resistant and you can barely tell the difference. Added bonus: it barely needs watering once established and comes back every year!
Create designated areas for potty breaks:  Wooded or mulched spots, crushed gravel or small pebbled areas are ideal as they will absorb urine and keep it away from plants. Some homeowners even opt for artificial turf in potty areas that instantly drains, is easy to clean with a hose and inhibits bacteria.
Make it fun for your pup:  Home agility course, featuring tunnels and weave polls. If you search for dog agility courses on Amazon, you’ll find plenty of options. Some are affordable while others are quite pricy, depending on how serious you are about agility!
Other fun options:
*Splash pad, for the pups who enjoy running through sprinklers. This is a great one for summer!
*Auto ball thrower, like the iFetch.
*A kiddie pool filled with sand to create a fun digging zone.
*Dog tug toy, which you attach to a tree. These are great for larger, high-energy dogs!
The best ground cover for dogs:
Bermuda Grass
Zoysia Grass
Centipede Grass
Buffalo Grass
Kentucky Bluegrass
St. Augustine
Tall Fescue
Creeping thyme
Creeping juniper
Creeping Phlox
Creeping Jenny
Silver carpet
Irish moss
Brass Buttons
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful.  I’ve had some computer troubles and missed last week.  We made the dreaded trip to Apple for a new laptop and now I’m back up and running.  Stay tuned for a post each week.  And don’t hesitate to comment below with any questions or suggestions.  

I’m Bobbi Jo, a lab-lover who took my passion for animals and dogs and turned it into something bigger.  When I adopted Jake and Maggie, my love for them became the driving force behind Two Adorable Labs, and my blog was born.  My hope is to not only share them with the world, but to help educate others on the importance of animal health and well-being. Two Adorable Labs has become a collection of all that I love.  I’ll send one post each week on things that bring me joy on animal health, home decor, and food recipes for humans and our furry friends.  I hope you enjoy these posts and much as I do creating them!

How To Create A Dog Safe Garden |
How To Create A Dog Safe Garden |
How To Create A Dog Safe Garden |
How To Create A Dog Safe Garden |

I love hearing from all of you and do my best to respond to each and every one of you.  I always enjoy your comments, feedback, and suggestions so keep them coming!  If I’ve posted a recipe (for our human and our furry friends) and you try it, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @twoadorablelabs and use #twoadorablelabs​.

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Love, Jake and Maggie

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