The Unlikely Pair of Pups & Produce: 6 Tips for Establishing a Dog-Friendly Garden

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Dedicating time and effort to building a blossoming garden space filled to the brim with hanging lights and overflowing foliage is a rewarding, worthwhile hobby. Many people find immense joy sculpting shrubbery and watching their herbage and vegetation flourish. However, maintaining an in-tact and healthy garden can be challenging when you have a curious canine companion dead set on exploring every inch of your outdoor space.

If you're looking to create a space your four-legged friend can tramp about without risking your plants or their health, read on for five tips for building a dog-friendly permaculture garden.

Train bad behaviors out of your pup

Before you begin dog-proofing your garden, you need to focus your attention on the bond between you and your furry friend. So, if you've decided to take the plunge and bring home a high-energy breed, such as a Labrador Retriever-preferably from a reputable breeder like Snowy Pines White Labs-make sure you strap yourself in for a dedicated training course. That way, you'll be on your way to a well-behaved dog who knows the house rules inside and out. By teaching your pup boundaries and rewarding good behavior, you can ensure your home and garden remain untouched.

When training, make sure you watch out for signs of digging, trampling, or snacking and reprimand your pet accordingly when introducing them to your outdoor space. Although you may need an extra line of defense via barriers or lifted pots, building a bond between you and your dog through training can reduce expensive accidents and destruction.

Stick to pots instead of in-ground beds

While blooming perennials and widespread shrubbery look excellent on paper, the reality is your in-ground foliage might find itself in the crossfire of teething, zooming pups. Although it's not impossible to sprinkle some low-to-the-ground garden boxes and freshly trimmed brush across your outdoor space, you may need to alter your blueprints for trampling dogs. Consider purchasing pots and stands to keep any fresh herbs, greenery, or blossoms out of harm's way.

Carefully select resilient, non-toxic foliage

When curating your garden space, you'll want to sift through foliage, shrubs, and flowers that can withstand some wear and tear. Regardless of how well-trained your pup is, outside is a space they should be allowed to roam and explore, which means your plants will need to hold up. While dainty, fragile plantings may fit your aesthetic, reserve more delicate greenery for hanging pots or spaces your dog can't reach.

Additionally, make sure any easily accessible vegetation is non-toxic for dogs, steering clear of English ivy, lilies, and onions. Or, dedicate a blocked-off section for garden staples that could be hazardous to your furry friend.

Install a greenhouse 

One way to ensure your canine companion and hand-crafted garden exist in harmony is by installing a greenhouse into your outdoor space. While a large setup may not be ideal for smaller areas or tight budgets, there are low-cost, compact alternatives that can solve any pet-related disturbances. That way, your curious pup can roam freely through more resilient foliage without disturbing sensitive herbage.

Install dog-friendly pathways

In addition to easily accessible pathways weaving through the center of your garden, you'll want to section off a perimeter path your dog can patrol without stomping your plants into the grave. Consider investing in large pavers or simply leave the overgrown underbrush to grow around the pathway, so they have a lush place to roam.

Wrapping up

Though it may take some tweaking to create an outdoor garden space that fulfills your green-thumb needs while also allowing your dog to run and explore, the outcome will be worth it. Ultimately, by curating a pet-friendly area, your plants and pup will enjoy the fresh air, coexisting with minimal disturbances.