Gardening with Dogs



After purchasing your dream home, one of the first things you might start thinking about is landscaping and gardening. And as most of us have dogs, there is are special considerations you need to make while thinking about changing the outdoor environment of your home. An article in “The Poppy Print” by Madena Asbell highlighted some of the tips and tricks she learned over 15 years of gardening and dogs. Here are a couple hints that may help you out:


  • Before designing your garden, watch your dog’s habits. They have probably already established their own paths. They may also have favorite areas to dig. Design around them.
  • Dogs like to patrol perimeters. It’s their job. When planting along property edges, leave space between the plans and the fence line so your dog can make its rounds.
  • In high traffic areas, use plants that are resilient if stepped on. These include: Baccharis Pilularis ‘Pigeon Point’ or ‘Twin Peaks’, Ceanothus groundcovers, Arctostaphylos groundcovers, Achillea millefolium and Frangaia.
  • Avoid planting grass with awns, such as Aristida and Nassella. Awns are seed heads that can get stuck in a dog’s fur, throat or snout. Better choices are Festuca californica, Muhlenbergia rigens and Elymus ‘Canyon Prince’.
  • Avoid plants that are toxic to dogs, in particular Vitis, Datura and Lupine. For a list of plant (native and non-native) that are toxic to pets, go here:
  • Certain plants react poorly to dog urine. These include: Penstemon, heuchera and Woodwardia.
  • Cage all new plants until established. This will protect them from being stepped or peed on until the plant is large enough tot withstand it.
  • Plants in large containers stand safely above paw traffic.


Gardening with your dogs is not only enjoyable, but gardening around your dog’s habits is also enjoyable for them!



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