Backyard Landscaping Ideas Along Fence
- Give your pooch an outdoor space you can both appreciate. Illustration by Shaina Lieberman/The HSUS
by Ruthanne Johnson
Look into any backyard and you can probably tell which one has a dog. Trampled pathways through grass and garden bear evidence of daily squirrel patrols. Muddy trails along fences underscore an intense curiosity about otherside happenings. And freshly dug pits may highlight a hankering for underground critters, a cool earthen bed, or just old-fashioned fun.
Let’s face it: Dogs are uniquely skilled at uncoiffing our landscapes. But “don’t take it personal, ” advises Colorado-based landscape designer Elizabeth Bublitz, author of Pawfriendly Landscapes. As someone who’s spent more than a decade designing yards for dogs and owners, Bublitz knows that human’s best friends are merely seeking to burn off energy, protect their territory, and track down interesting smells.
The following tips from “petscaping” experts will help you create an outdoor space that fulfills your dog’s needs and your desire for an aesthetically pleasing yard. If you’re strapped for cash or time, remember that picking even one project to start with will help you and your companion delight in your outdoor domain.
In addition to shelter from wind and rain, places to sun are a must-have for the dog-scaped yard. Just ask California-based landscape designer Scott Cohen, who says he can tell the time of day by where his elderly bulldog, Belvedere, happens to be basking. Shady spots are equally important—and can deter your pooch from digging troughs in the dirt. Garden features like trellises, patio covers, and sail shades make attractive cooling zones. Native trees offer natural cover; deciduous species allow both summer shade and winter sun. In Michigan, master gardener Tom Barthel built a covered deck to provide his rescued Labradoodle, Dakota, with both shade and an elevated place to scan his domain. In hardscapes such as cemented areas, moveable umbrellas and built-in holders make for interchangeable sun/shade zones.
Chances are your dog already has some favorite spots for power lounging—ones that also enable her to survey her territory. Outdoor chair padding and dog beds can make these places even more enjoyable.