Dogscaping provides welcome treat for Fido

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 9, 2010

The weather has been great and it seems everywhere you look, people are in their yards making them look beautiful.

They are mowing the lawn, planting flowers, and setting up patio furniture.

With a little forethought and planning you can landscape your yard to be pet friendly. This will make your backyard a fun and relaxing space for you and Fido.

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If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors in the summer, a doghouse is a must. A doghouse does not have to be anything fancy, just functional. Placement is more important than style.

It should not be placed in an area of full sun. Place the doghouse in the shade of a tree or on the shady side of the house.

Also, Fido’s house should be well ventilated. We all want our homes to be inviting and comfortable, so let’s do the same for our furry friends.

Be creative; add some landscaping to the dog’s home. Add a flower bed or decorate the outside with a concrete fire hydrant. Even if your pup is an inside dog, a doghouse will give him a place to get out of the sun.

If Fido spends nights indoors and a doghouse is not your style, your dog will still need shade.

Consider a patio cover. They are available in about any color and in a wide range of prices. They are easy to put up and look great too.

Tired of the same old boring water bowl? A decorative pond with a fountain adds appeal to your yard and makes a great watering hole for your pup. It is a good idea to run the fountain daily and have a way adding fresh water frequently.

Do not use any chemicals like chlorine to keep your pond clear. Use a non-chemical algaecide that is safe for birds and other animals. If you want to go big, the pond could be constructed large enough for your dog to take a swim and cool off.

If the pond is more than a few inches deep, install steps so your pet can get in and out easily.

If you own a terrier, you know that many dogs love to dig. Rather than putting your flower beds at risk, why not give your digger an acceptable place to dig.

I think you will find that Fido will have tons of fun in a sandbox.

Sometimes people are hesitant about putting a sandbox in the backyard because they are afraid that their dog will eliminate in the sand. Most dogs will not use it as a toilet, that practice is usually reserved for cats.

So, use caution if you have a cat, it may become a huge litter box. Sandboxes come in just about any shape and size, or if you are handy — you can make your own.

The best thing about a sandbox is it does not require watering, mowing, pruning, or fertilizing.

What possibilities exist in your backyard? Well, that depends completely on you and your dog.

Whether you tackle it yourself or hire a professional landscaper, don’t forget to include your pet in your landscaping plans. Most likely your dog spends more time in your yard than you do.

Why not make your yard as pet friendly as possible? Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony Barker, The BARKer Shop