New Puppy? What Are Your Best Landscaping Options?


Adding a puppy to your family can often be an experience matched only by having a child. The unconditional love and constant eagerness for adventure provided by a puppy or other pet can decrease your blood pressure, boost your immunity, and even lower your risk of depression, rendering dog ownership one of the most rewarding decisions you'll ever make. However, not all landscaping schemes are dog-friendly, and some plants and shrubs can potentially cause severe digestive or neurological issues for your dog. What can you do to keep your lawn aesthetically pleasing while also ensuring it's safe and fun for your furry friend? Read on to learn more about your best landscaping options for dogs.

What plants and other landscaping features should you avoid if you have a dog?

  • Cocoa mulch

Although this mulch can smell delicious enough to eat and provide a pulled-together look for your garden, it contains the same ingredient that makes chocolate toxic to dogs -- theobromine. Eating this mulch or even rolling around in it for more than a few minutes could cause some significant health problems for your dog, so sticking with an untreated cedar mulch or even rubber pellets may be a better option. 

  • Irises and lilies of the valley 

While you may know that bright red berries often spell trouble, you probably don't give much thought to the perennials planted in your garden. However, innocuous-looking flowers like lilies, lilies of the valley, and irises can cause digestive and neurological damage to your dog -- for small dogs who ingest several flowers or more, this could even mean death. Green onions or chives can also be problematic for dogs, although most find these plants delicious. Before introducing any new plant (including ferns and non-flowering plants) to your garden, be sure to visually identify the plant online and ensure it isn't poisonous or otherwise harmful to dogs.

  • Commercial pesticides 

Although these pesticides can help keep your lawn green and lush all summer long by killing insects that can eat your grass roots to cause brown spots, applying toxic commercial pesticides to your grass could harm your pet's health over time. In fact, some studies have linked the application of lawn chemicals to a significantly increased risk of malignant lymphoma in dogs. Using natural or organic ingredients like diatomaceous earth, vegetable oil, or even liquid clay applied to your the surface of your plants can help protect them from damage while preventing your dog from picking up any pesticide residue on his or her delicate paws.

What landscaping features will your dog enjoy?

In addition to protecting your dog from potentially harmful flowers, mulch varieties, pesticides, and other environmental hazards, you'll probably want to incorporate dog-friendly features throughout your yard to help both you and your pet have a better time outdoors.

  • Water feature

Dogs love to jump in water to reduce their body temperature during the dog days of summer. Installing a small fiberglass pool with a pump and filtration system can allow your dog to cool off during the hottest months while providing you with a scenic and relaxing water feature. Depending upon your dog's shedding habits, you may need to give him or her a good brushing before pool time to prevent having to clean hair from the filter after each swimming session.

  • Flea-repellent plants

Even if your dog's vet applies flea repellent during each visit or gives you additional doses for home use, planting flowers and shrubs that naturally discourage fleas from loitering and breeding in your lawn can help make your dog's outdoor experience more comfortable. Lavender and chrysanthemum give off an odor that fleas find unpleasant, while pitcher plants hold water that can drown fleas, mosquitoes, beetles, and other insects. 


11 April 2016

Beautiful Landscaping Can Transform the Look of Any Home

When my husband and I bought our house years ago, we thought it would be our "starter" home and we would move in a few years. We soon had two children, and we then decided against moving since we live in a great school district and we love our neighbors. However, I was growing very tired of the appearance of our home. We painted it a different color, and it still seemed like the "same old house" that we were tired of. We finally deciding that maybe good landscaping would "do the trick" and make our home more enjoyable to use again. We were right, and I now love our home! I now love spending time in our yard and just enjoying the scenery. I have such a passion for landscaping now I decided to create a blog about it. I plan to share many landscaping tips, so come back!