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How to Make Your Garden Fido-Friendly

Dogs love the outdoors. Even in winter, they will become bored of sleeping by the fire and instead keep themselves entertained by exploring nature. Your garden is full of wildlife and smells that will stimulate your dog’s senses, as well as plenty of opportunities to dig and play.

Dogs dig for a number of reasons, from looking for rodents to finding a cool place to sit. It is vital that you keep your garden suitable for dogs, so that Fido is happy and the garden doesn’t get destroyed. Keep your home and garden dog-friendly with the following tips.


You and your dog probably view the garden in a different way. You want something full of beautiful, well kept plants. Your dog wants to destroy or eat anything it finds. This means you must ensure that anything you plant will not be poisonous to your pets, since some plants can kill a dog in under an hour.

You can find a full list of toxic plants online, but common poisonous plant life includes oak trees (acorns), apples, ivy and mistletoe, so while you’re feeling festive this winter, you could be putting your dog in danger. Many more plants may cause your dog to throw up so the eating of any plant should be discouraged.

You should also ensure that your plants are robust, perhaps by placing them in plant pots. Using large plants, such as lavender hedging, as a border can make it difficult for dogs to enter and cause damage to more delicate flowers.


Eventually your dog will become bored of your backyard and want to explore the neighbor’s, especially if they have pets of their own. Since dogs can dig and jump as high as six-feet, a seriously robust fence is required.

Wire fencing can be cheap and strong, making it impossible for even strong dogs

 to chew their way through. Alternatively, a wooden fence would prevent the dog from seeing in to the next-door garden, allowing them to focus on their own domain.

The exact fence you install will depend upon the size of your dog, but just make sure there are no gaps or weak points.

Using a designated area can help with security. You can train your pet to stay within this fenced area to stop them from exploring the outer perimeters of the garden. This can be encouraged by filling the dog area with their favorite toys. A sandpit can be used as a place for them to use the toilet. Your dog may enjoy playing in or drinking from the fountain, so distracting them by putting a water bowl in the “dog area” will reduce the need to clean the fountain.

Mud Room

So you’ve made the perfect play area for your dog. After spending time digging in the designated area, they’ll want to come back inside. To keep the interior of your house from becoming dirty, consider building a mudroom.

This is an entryway where your dog can be let back into the house. Ideally, this room would contain a large sink, where you can wash off your dog before letting them access the rest of the house. Then simply towel them dry and you can ensure that your dog is still able to enjoy the outdoors, without creating too much cleaning inside. The floor should be made of hard tile, so that it can be easily cleaned with a mop.

As a pet guardian, you realize the need for a garden to keep your pet active and happy. However, the garden is also for you, so use these tips to keep both your plants and your dog safe and secure.


By Lucy Wyndham, contributing writer

Lucy Wyndham began her career as a caregiver before working her way up through the system to become a Care Home Manager. After starting her family, she took a step back to indulge her love of writing. 


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