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8 ways to create a dog-friendly garden

Your garden is as much your dog’s as it is yours; it’s a great place for them to explore, dig and use the toilet in between walks. These top tips will ensure that your garden is tailored to your dog’s needs.

1. Pathways

Dogs like walking on solid paths, so pathways using paving slabs are ideal. If there is a defined path for your dog to follow, they are less likely to go traipsing through your borders. A solid path will also help to keep your dog’s claws trim. Avoid gravel paths as your dog might be tempted to dig them up and could swallow small stones.

2. Digging areas

Many dogs love to dig, so providing a designated digging area containing loose soil will encourage their natural instinct to dig, and it should dissuade them from digging in other areas of the garden. Give the digging area high sides to keep the soil contained.

3. Open space

A large area of lawn is the perfect space for your dog to run, jump and play in. If you aren’t keen on mowing the grass, fake grass can work just as well – your dog won’t be able to tell the difference! Another benefit of fake grass is that real grass can suffer and turn yellow if your dog urinates on it.

4. Outdoor toys

Toys can keep your dog entertained in the garden and hold their interest so that they are less likely to play with things they’re not supposed to. Tunnels, balls and tugging toys all work well.

5. Dog-friendly weed killer

Avoid using chemicals in your garden as they could make your dog unwell if they are ingested. Opt for natural ways to kill weeds. Boiling water, vinegar or salt are great pet-friendly weed killers, and they’re cheap too.

6. Fences

Check that your fences are secure and of a height that your dog won’t be able to jump over. Make sure garden furniture, plant pots or anything else that your dog can climb up onto is positioned away from the fence.

7. Avoid poisonous plants

Some plants are poisonous to dogs and are best avoided. The Dogs Trust has put together a list of plants that are harmful to dogs. If you have a strong desire to include any of these plants in your garden, then you could plant them in hanging baskets that are well out of reach of your dog.

8. Sheltered areas

Your dog will want to seek cover on hot or rainy days. Provide shelter in the form of a kennel, gazebo, awning or tree. Place toys in the shade to encourage them to get out of the sun when it’s hot.

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