Blog How to Create a Dog-Friendly Garden: A Safe and Fun Outdoor Space

If you love to relax in your garden, your canine companion should be able to enjoy the same thing. Even if your pup already has access to an outdoor space for dogs at his dog daycare in West Palm Beach, he deserves an accessible retreat near your home. Learn how to create an outdoor play space for dogs, from opting for pet-safe landscaping to other touches your pup will love. 

Start With a Fence (or Other Perimeter)

The very first step to creating a dog-friendly garden is ensuring that your dog won’t be able to escape accidentally. You want your pup to be able to enjoy the outdoor space for dogs even without human supervision. For most people and dogs, a typical fence will be fine. 

But be on the lookout for potential issues with your fence, such as wear and tear. Also, keep in mind your dog’s ability to jump over or dig under your fence, and ensure you plan accordingly. 

Avoid Toxic Plants

It should go without saying that any pet-friendly garden won’t have plants that could be toxic to your dog. Before you plant anything in your garden, do a quick online search to confirm it is pet-safe. You can easily find a lengthy list of plants to avoid. Some of the most common culprits include: 

  • Daffodils (the bulbs)
  • Tulips 
  • Begonias
  • Elephants ears 
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Sweet pea
  • Yew
  • And more 

Avoid Compost

Compost helps your plants grow, but pet-safe landscaping should limit your dog’s access to the compost. That’s because decomposing organic material can release mycotoxins. If your canine accidentally ingests these mycotoxins, they can vomit, have seizures, or even die. So, do your best to keep your compost contained. 

Include a Grassy Space

When most people think of an outdoor play space for dogs, they picture grass, and for good reason. Large grassy areas give your pup plenty of room to play and do their business. You can even set up a designated grassy spot in your garden for your furry friends to relieve themselves and landscape the rest of it. Just be sure to include only pet-friendly plants.

Add Other Dog-Friendly Surfaces

Make sure other surfaces are also dog-friendly. Avoid gravel, asphalt, and concrete, as these can all be uncomfortable on your dog’s paws. Wood decking and brick paths are better surfaces for your pet to walk and run on. 

Give Your Pup Shade

When listing dog-proof garden ideas, don’t forget your canine companion’s need for shade. No matter your dog’s breed, he can sit in the sun only for so long without getting overheated. Trees offer a natural method of providing shade. You can use larger seating areas that your pup can use as shelter. Other options include garden umbrellas or even a retractable canopy. 

Provide Water

Don’t forget to put a bowl of water in your pet-friendly garden. This will keep your dog hydrated and prevent him from drinking the potentially contaminated water hiding in your water features. 

Keep Dangerous Tools Away

You likely have plenty of tools for your landscaping needs, but you don’t want your pup to gain access to them. Pet-friendly gardens should have a designated shed for storing potentially dangerous tools. You can also keep them in your garage or sturdy garden bins. 

Keep Slugs Away Safely

Slugs and snails can be fun for your pooch to investigate, but they can also carry parasites. Those lungworm parasites can lead to hemorrhaging, heart issues, breathing issues, and more. You don’t want to get rid of slugs with toxic snail bait, as that is dangerous for your pup as well. So, look for dog-friendly options instead. One common suggestion is to fill tubs with beer in remote areas your dog can’t reach. The snails will be drawn to and drown in the tub, helping you safely and effectively eliminate them from your garden. 


With the above tips in mind, you are all set to create a dog-friendly garden in your West Palm Beach home. You may even find yourself inviting other animal lovers and their furry friends over. 



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