How to Make Your Landscape More Pet-Friendly

A landscape should be designed to fit the family – including your furry family members. A thoughtful landscape design takes into consideration the reality of your pet’s habits, and will help ease frustration commonly associated with damage caused by playful romping.  Here are practical tips on how to create a beautiful and safe landscape for all your loved ones.

Safety and Comfort

Priority number one is to provide safety and shelter for your pet. If your pet is going to spend a significant amount of time outdoors, ensure that there are shady spots to take refuge.  Create borders that discourage roaming, including the right fencing, border plants and/or objects that will discourage digging – while avoiding plants with sharp thorns at your pet’s eye level. 

Safe Plants Around Pets

A safe environment includes regular maintenance. Intrusive plants and fungi, such as mushrooms and weeds, may be harmful to your pet if ingested and should be removed as they appear.  The ASPCA offers a comprehensive list of list of toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs and cats on its web site. We encourage all pet owners to visit this list, as popular plants such as Lilly of the valley and foxglove are among the plants that can make your pet ill. 

On the other hand, certain plants are beneficial for pets. Plants that have been shown to reduce fleas include lavender, rosemary, citronella and all varieties of mint.  Pet owners can also devote a small part of their garden landscape as an edible garden for pets, including plants with health-promoting affects such as blueberries and wheat grass.

Room to exercise

A tired dog is a happy dog. Whether you like to play fetch, or invite your pet to join a rowdy soccer game with the kids, your landscape design needs to include room to run.  You can create pathways along areas that your pet already travels using materials that will not stick to the animal’s coat or hurt their paws. By landscaping natural pathways, you are creating an interesting, usable design element in an area where ornamental plants are most likely to become damaged.      


After determining the play areas within your landscape, you need to protect beautification elements from being trampled or damaged. This can include borders that act as a buffer between your lawn and more delicate plants. Raised flower beds are also a great way to add visual interest and protect delicate flora.

Ready to get started on a practical-yet-beautiful landscape design? Contact us today for a customized landscape design that will fit the unique needs of your loved ones.