It is important that your dog receives lots of opportunity for exercise and recreation. Make sure your backyard can provide your dog a place to freely roam, without sacrificing the quality or design of your landscape. With a couple of tricks, you can create the perfect outdoor environment for your pup. Here are some ways to make a dog-friendly backyard landscape:
Dogscape Your Garden
Create an outdoor space that creates harmony between your dog and garden. Keep in mind the needs of your dog when designing your garden. Make sure your dog has the means for exploration, without messing up your plant presentation. Build a running track or path that weaves through the garden to keep the dog on an established path away from plants.
Make the path comfortable for your dog’s paws with small cedar chip mulch or smooth flagstone rocks set in pebbles. Your plants should be soft yet sturdy — anything too delicate can be trampled by your pet. Create stone or driftwood borders around plants for increased protection.
A dog’s good training can go out the window when distracted by the lure of a squirrel chase. Make sure a fence protects your dog from its own uninhibited excitement.
You can provide a solid boundary with a wood fence that surpasses the height of your dog’s jumping capabilities. Set your fence into the ground a few feet deep so that your dog can’t dig a hole under it.
If you’re worried about the solid and stark aesthetic of a fence, plant large shrubs or ornamental grasses along the perimeter. This will keep your yard a green oasis while also keeping your beloved hound safe.
A training course is a way you can engage your dog’s brain or condition it for any course competitions. Create a fun and ideal training course with a circuit setup with structures and fixtures that test a dog’s physical agility.
For a variety of tricks within the course, set up hurdles, a seesaw, cones and tires. Tires are great for your dog to jump through. Use your old tires as a method of sustainable recycling.
Provide your dog with access to water for refreshment after a hearty play session. You can create a natural spring or pond within your landscape that has regular circulation of water. However, if you live in a mosquito-prone region, a large body of water will draw them onto your property.
Alternatively, consider a small drinking fountain for your dog. You can install a water circulation pump within a galvanized tub or trough. This will look rustic and stylish, while providing a water source for your pup.
If you want a more transportable option, iMounTEK makes a hygienic dog fountain. Your dog can quickly be trained to use the paw-pressable pedal that controls the water stream. Since the water is never stagnant, there is less threat of bacterial growth or water contamination.
April 15, 2021 | DogGeek
The trees and flowers are blooming and your allergies are taking over. This could mean only one thing, it’s spring! While spring is a great time to get out in the yard and celebrate with your family, there are some potential hazards for your dog. Easter brings celebration but it also brings a lot of toxic dangers around for your dogs. Here’s a list to watch out for:
- Easter Grass – That colorful fake grass used to make your Easter basket so vibrant. Ingesting this “grass” can be lethal to your dogs and other pets because they can not digest it. The threads get stuck in their intestines causing damage.
- Plastic Eggs – Those shiny plastic eggs that contain goodies and sometimes, if you’re a really lucky kid, money. If chewed and swallowed the plastic can cause intestinal problems that may require surgery. Make sure you keep track of how many you put out and that they are all found by who should find them, not Fido days later.
- Chocolate – We all know that chocolate is dangerous to pets, but make sure your children know. Besides, puppies love bunnies, they just shouldn’t have chocolate ones.
- Easter Lillies – They are a sign that spring is a coming, brining new life out of winter. But, did you know that they are one of the most poisinous plants for pets? Especially cats. They can cause kidney failure in less than two days if untreated.
- Toys – Don’t forget those small and fun toy bunnies, chicks and others Easter basket stuffers that post a potential choking hazard for Fido.
Find more information about pet toxins and poisonous items for dogs and cats at the Pet Poison Helpline at www.petpoisonhelponline.com. The helpline is also open 24/7 at (800) 213-6680.
Have a happy and great Easter with your family!
March 29, 2021 | DogGeek
Springtime is here and it’s time to get out in the yard. When planting, remember some plants are toxic to dogs and other pets. Here’s a list of items to stay away from:
- Oleander – It can cause serious issues including gastrointestinal tract irritation and abnormal heart function.
- Lilies – They are toxic to cats and can cause severe kidney damage.
- Tulips – The bulbs contain toxins that cause drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and heart abnormalities.
- Cocoa mulch – Reacts like chocolate to dogs causing vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.
- Aloe – Can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia and tremors
- Azalea – May cause vomiting, diarrhea, weekness, and other issues.
Stay safe this spring and for more information about toxins in plants, visit the ASPCA.
March 18, 2021 | DogGeek
Springtime is coming and everyone wants to get outside. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe:
- Make sure your vacuum is cleaned. Flea larvae that can live in carpets and furniture can get sucked up in your into your vacuum and can hatch. Make sure that you empty your vacuum often. Bagless vacuum cleaners are great to ensure that flea larvae do not hatch.
- Find organic/chemical free ways to rid your yard of fleas and other pests.
- Get your dog groomed as to not get matted as easily. Find a dog groomer.
- Keep dog beds clean as to not let any larvae hatch.
- Everyone likes to get outside and run in the spring, remember to ensure that your dog’s tags are readable and up-to-date in case he gets out.
- Be mindful of chemicals used to keep yards up during the summer which can be harmful to pets. Some fertilizers can be highly toxic.
- Roads and the sides of roads can still have salt residue, make sure to wash your dog’s paws after a walk.
Have fun playing outside this spring with your dog(s)!
March 17, 2021 | DogGeek
St. Patrick’s Day, the day when the whole world become’s Irish for one day. While drinking green beer is fun, please remember these tips to ensure that your best friend has a great day too!
- Green beer and green cocktails are great, until the next day, but they are never great for your dog. Dogs do not absorb alcohol the same way people do and it is very toxic to them so leave the libations to you and your people friends.
- Having friends over can be fun for your pets too, but sometimes it’s a littl overwhelming. Make sure your dog has a safe place to go if they want to get away.
- Keep all food on high ground. The temptation can get too much when snacks are in reach and they smell so good. Be sure to feed your pup before company comes also to ensure that they can eat.
- Ensure ID tags are on and readable.With people coming and going during parties your dog or other pets may get out. Make sure they get home safe with proper ID tags, microchips if you can.
- Everybody loves decorations and four leaf clvoers, but make sure they are not choking hazards for the dog or that they are also up on high ground with the food.
Have a safe and happy Saint Patrick’s Day from our family at DogGeek.com to yours.
March 15, 2021 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
With 78.2 million dogs in this country (according to the 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey), that’s a lot of dog poop (about 10 million tons!). Waste removal is a part of every dog owner’s life, both on the go and at home, and probably not a subject that is given much thought. As dog parents, we are always checking the quality and the frequency of our dog’s poop. Now that there are so many dogs living and pooping in this country, let’s not just look at it, let’s look at what we can do with it!
All of the options below are for those who are committed to being gentle on Mother Earth, making conscious choices in everyday life, and who don’t fling dog poop over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. If this describes you, read on!
Biodegradable Poop Bags
This is a cheap and easy solution for busy dog owners. Let’s assume that you already bring your reusable shopping bags to the supermarket and avoid the plastic bags at checkout. Biodegradable poop bags come neatly rolled up, taking up way less room than used shopping bags, and break down in both active and inactive environments (like landfills). They are affordable, come in fashionable colors, and some are even scented! Not scented like poop, but nice things like blueberry or vanilla. Hey, it’s the canine equivalent to bathroom spray.
These home tools are for use in your own yard. There is a great deal of variety in popper scoopers, all of which have long handles so you don’t have to bend down to the ground. There’s even a 1-handed model which uses spring action jaws that you open and close on the handle. They vary in price, starting at around $10 and can be found at your local hardware or garden supply store.
Flushable Poop Bags
Yes, it’s true! These bags are amazing! They are safe to use with a septic or sewage system and biodegrade in water. The benefit of using flushable bags is that you get the poop into the system that was designed to remove harmful toxins and bacteria from feces. These are a little more expensive than biodegradable bags, but so cutting edge Green, how can you resist!
Dog Poop Composter Bins
Whether you use a popper scooper or the designated “dog poop shovel” to get the stuff off of your yard, the next question is likely, “Now what do I do with it?” Unfortunately, it is harmful to add to your food compost bin due to its high levels of bacteria and parasites. So, some Earth-friendly geniuses came up with dog poop composters. They are for dog poop only (cat poop, too) and use an enzyme to break down the poop, making it into compost and ready to give back to the soil. They come in various designs and colors to look like yard art or hide quietly in the corner. For those who are DIY captains, there’s plenty of websites that give you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own!
The dirty truth about dog poop is that it’s considered a pollutant. It is not a fertilizer, and actually harbors toxic bacteria and parasites, making it a health hazard for all of us when left on the ground. Cities all over the country have made it illegal to leave your dog’s waste on the ground, due to the health risks, so cleaning up after your dog has become a part of everyday life. Thanks to innovative thinkers, we have plenty of earth-friendly options for that make the clean-up job a lot less crappy!
Find a dog rescue or animal shelter near you >>
March 2, 2021 | DogGeek