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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Why Petscaping Your Yard Makes Sense

Renee Valdes
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Dog rolling in the grass.

Pets love to roll around in the grass, chase squirrels, mice, and generally keep watch over their yard.

That’s why many pet owners turn to petscaping, or pet-friendly landscaping, that protects gardens while encouraging play and does not harm our four-legged friends. 

Petscaping your yard

Gardening for Pets

Treat your gardens and grass organically to protect your furry family members — and kids, too. It’s more environmentally friendly, as well.

There are many organic fertilizers and safe pest treatments for your lawn and garden but you can get some mileage out of diatomaceous earth if you’ve got to cover a large area. Here’s what our Home Depot Community says about its benefits.

Diatomaceous earth rids your yard of cockroaches, fleas, ants and other crawling insects usually within 48 hours. Use with caution around animals and children because it causes moderate eye irritation.

Be mindful that some organic products, such as bone meal and blood meal, can be harmful to pets, especially those who love to dig. To ensure their safety, read instructions carefully. It’s best to keep them away from treated plants or place temporary fencing or pet gates around the plants for several weeks until products safely soak into the soil.

Another solution to help keep pets (and other wildlife) out of your garden: plant covers and enclosures. They also keep children from pulling out or digging up plants.

Stakes and chicken wire can work around raised garden beds. Just be sure to protect your pet, as well as your kids, against sharp edges.

For ideas on plants to avoid in creating pet (and kid) friendly yards, see our article from the Home Depot Community.

Petscaping for your furry pals.

Landscaping pets will love

Since pets naturally travel the perimeter of the property to protect their turf and yours, you may want to consider adding a perimeter path around your yard. Try using decomposed granite. It also works well for other high-traffic areas and you can create a walkway with the granite.

Pavers, stepping stones and landscape rocks can be used, but they’re more porous and retain odors. So place them wisely once you know where your pets like to “go.”

Lawn tips

When thinking of your turf, there’s plenty of hardy grass to handle the paw traffic.

For the South, Bermuda, Centipede or Zoysia grass are recommended. St. Augustine grass works well in Florida, South Texas and California. For Northern states and cooler climates, Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue is the best choice.

Read our advice on repairing a pet-destroyed lawn on the Home Depot Community, and follow these guidelines:

  • Mow: Mowing is important each week to control weeds.
  • Water: If you know your pet’s favorite place to go in the yard, flush those areas with water every day to help prevent the acid burn. You can also add lime, which raises the pH of the soil and neutralizes acid. It’s not harmful to pets.
  • Aerate: Your lawn will produce better results after pet damage if you aerate about once a month to loosen up the soil.
  • Seed: Seed in the fall for most grass types. If you follow the advice above, however, seeding will be easier to keep your grass going.

Dog relaxing in a dog house.

Encouraging Pet Play

Petscaping helps protect gardens by promoting digging and playing in appropriate areas. Pamper your four-legged friends by creating pet-friendly play spaces designed just for them. 

For your pooch, create an area anchored by a dog house (such as the one above) and digging pad. Your dog will love a palace of his or her own. If you’re the DIY sort, you can also build a canine condo, complete with an optional sun deck on top. 

The digging pad can be a ready-made sandbox or you could easily make your own. Not only will dogs dig it, but they’ll relax in it, too, because the cool sand layers help your pooch beat the heat on warmer days.

Just be sure to add all your doggie’s favorite toys to the play space. 

Petscaping your yard with a kitty lounge.

For kitties, catios, or enclosed patio areas, can be a perfect way for indoor felines to get outside for some fresh air. It’s also a place for sensory experiences and to catch a glimpse of nature.

For a quick and easy way to create kitty’s dream catio, add a pet door to an existing screened-in porch.

No screened-in porch? Create your own catio by transforming a ready-made pet kennel into a feline paradise with real grass or a turf mat

For the DIY type, modify our garden enclosure project by adding a roof and all your feline fun accessories, including scratching posts, a townhome for lounging such as the one above or a shade bed, toys and a garden of catnip.

Once you’ve created the ultimate petscape, you’ll have a hard time calling your pets in for dinner.

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!