The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) estimates 68% of U.S. households have a dog family member. Creating a safe and chemical-free yard for your pup is very important for health, play and longevity.
Here are some tips for a pet-friendly, family yard.
- Consider your pet's needs.
Most dogs love being outside—a place to romp and play; a shady spot for a nap; and a place for bathroom breaks. Keep the area clean. Pick up and dispose of dog waste daily to avoid insects like flies and mosquitoes, prevent diseases and reduce lawn damage.
- Look for "dog-proof" turf.
Grass is one of the best options for your yard because it can handle the wear and tear that comes with pets and children. Consider using an Iron Man seed blend for high traffic areas in sun or shade. Blends with turf type tall fescue, like Iron Man, are hardy, resist turning brown from urine and stand up to environmental stresses such as drought and heat.
- Consider their paws.
Wooden and plastic surfaces, such as decks, get hot. A Brigham Young University study revealed these surfaces can be as much as 37°F hotter than grass! If the surface is too hot for your bare feet, or your hand, chances are it's too hot for your dog's paws too. Consider using outdoor rugs on wooden and plastic surface areas.
- Choose plants carefully.
Pick plants that are safe and non-toxic to dogs. The ASPCA's list of toxic and non-toxic garden plants is a good place to start. Consider plants with soft foliage but sturdy enough to withstand a little canine "ruff-housing". Avoid plants with needles and thorns (cacti and roses). Save delicate flowering plants for patio containers.
- Choose organic plant foods.
Use caution with plant foods, especially liquid ones, as the liquid can run out of the pot and onto surfaces. Puddles of plant food look inviting for a summer sip. Our Protilizer® is 100% organic and a wise chemical-alternative to feed all outdoor plants, trees and shrubs.
Let us at Natural Alternative® be your personal gardener. After all, we're pet lovers, too! We're here to answer your lawn and garden questions—sign up for our e-newsletter, The Monthly Dirt, follow our social channels for give us a call for the latest seasonal tips and DIY know-how.