Gardening with Dogs Part II

Gardening with Dogs – Part II

Black labrador

Having covered how to prevent as best as possible your dogs from running recklessly through the entire garden in Gardening with Dogs – Part I, now we are going to continue solving the rest of the 5 most common problems related to maintaining a beautiful garden while taking care of pets that run in it.

How to prevent dogs from chewing on plants and garden accessories?

Animals need to chew on plants from time to time, and generally you can do very little to prevent it from happening. However, if you have shrubs that are known to be poisonous to dogs like rhododendrons or camellias, you need to make everything within your powers to limit the access to them. The best way to do it is to add some sort of a barrier – wire works best for me.

However, it is not an eye-pleaser, so unless you want to end up with a landscape that resembles a war zone, you might want to reconsider those plants or re-think your garden design. Luckily, companies like Fantastic Gardeners Melbourne have excellent landscape architects to aid you with the pet-friendly design.

Schnauzer dog

For newly emerging or planted plants, you might use plant support. The instincts of your dog, at least in most cases, will kick in, and warn it that it is something to not to be run over. Nevertheless, your devices need to be sturdy enough to withstand the full mass of your dog should a clash with it be unavoidable. In my experience, metal plant supports work best as the plastic ones just aren’t strong enough.

How to deal with yellow spots and faeces when gardening with dogs?

Surely, cleaning up after your dog has a special place in your “most-annoying-chores” list. The best tactic is to start training your puppy as soon as possible to relieve itself at only one spot in the garden, so that you wouldn’t have to go around cleaning everywhere. Even with older dogs, it is still possible to teach them “good garden manners” but it will take more time.

If your puppy is rather stubborn, you could try the “caught-on-the-spot” tactic. Most dogs tend to remember the shame of being scolded while they are “doing it”, and would avoid similar situations in the future. Nevertheless, most dogs are creatures of habit, and will usually find an out-of-the-way place in the garden that they will stick to – naturally with the exception of pups.

Don’t forget cleaning after your pet is one of the most important, though not so pleasant, chores you will have to face when gardening with pets running nearby.

In the third, and last part of the article, I will help you solve the mystery of the holes that keep appearing in your garden, as well as how to prevent your pet form drinking, and taking a bath in your garden water features.

Gardening with Dogs Part I

Gardening with Dogs – Part I

Cute dog

It is a well-known fact that Aussies love dogs – according to the latest statistics there are about 3.4 million dogs in the country. The breeds vary from terriers, retrievers, poodles, spanniols, collies and pugs to rottweilers and German shepherds, and naturally, various crosses. While the love for man’s best friend has no limits, devoted gardeners tend to find gardening with dogs in the house rather challenging.

Before you start imagining the worst scenarios about what your precious garden will look like once you get a dog, allow me to sum up the top 5 problems, so that you can have a clear idea of what your are getting yourself into – besides the cares you need to provide.

The top 5 issues regarding gardening with dogs in mind:

1. Running through the garden (and knocking your pots, destroying garden accessories, making undesired “paths” and etc.)
2. Chewing on your plants and garden accessories
3. Cleaning after the dogs have relieved themselves
4. Digging holes
5. Using decorative water features to bathe in or drink from

How to reduce the damages from dogs running recklessly through the garden?

The number one problem with dogs in the garden is the amount of havoc they tend to wreck once they are unsupervised in the garden. Even worse, it increases when your neighbours also have furry friends in theirs, or a squirrel has decided to pay you a visit. While there is nothing you can do about wild animals (pests), there are a few options you can resort to when you want to separate your pet from that of your neighbour.

A privacy fence is the most reliable way to prevent the dogs from “playing” together. However, if that is not an option for you, planting shrubs and ground covers along the line of your property will usually do the trick – provided that they are high and thick enough, so that your dog can neither peak, nor jump over (or squeeze through) them. The good news is that both options won’t “inflict any damage” on your landscape.

Having reduced the “distractions”, you also need to protect your precious plants from getting run-over. In order to do so, you can add rock borders or create trenched gardens. When a dog isn’t distracted by eventual playmates, it is less likely to cross the borders you have created, and venture through your plantations, believe experts at gardening Melbourne.

However, dogs have little respect for gardening rules, and won’t always follow the natural paths you have in place to ensure your movement through the garden. If your dog has its mind set on using a short-cut that goes directly through your planting area, no matter how you try to fight it, you are most likely going to end up with a canine highway. The tactic, I find most useful in such cases, is to plant some robust plants that will hide the path from human eyes, so you can at least have the illusion of a perfect garden with a dog playing in it.

What’s next?

In the second part of the article I will continue revealing some of the neat tricks to successful gardening with dogs in mind, so stay tuned.

Gardening with Dogs Part III

Gardening with Dogs – Part III

Puppy in the garden

Image source:

I know you have been anticipating the last part of Gardening with dogs as you can’t wait to see my suggestions on how to stop your four-legged friend from digging holes all over your garden, as well as putting an end on the games in your garden water features. So without further ado, here is the last part of the solutions foe the top 5 gardening issues related to having dogs:

How to put a stop to the hole-digging in your garden?

If you have dogs, it is inevitable to face the problem with hole-digging. The nature of your four-legged friend demands from it to do it. As usual, the older your dog gets the less fascinated it is with the process. However, when you have a puppy or an over-active dog, you will feel quite challenged to maintain your garden while finding a new hole every day. For some reason, there never seems to be enough dirt to cover it – one of Murphy’s laws, I guess.

Once again, the best way to deal with the unwanted activity is not to allow your furry friend outside unsupervised. The second most effective method is catching it on the spot, and scolding it. Nevertheless, in some cases you will be forced to accept the inevitable – you WILL have holes in your garden, and all you can do is make peace with it, and give your best to cover them up.

One way to cope with the emerging holes is to cover them up with wire, rocks or trellis. It is a short term solution that will only send a pro-active mud looking for easier pickings. Still, it will stop the hole from growing, and you can fill it once again. Luckily, over the years your pet will grow out of that habit or at least do it less frequently, so you need to go through the first few years. Afterwards, the dog will probably pick a secluded spot to do it, and you can easily mask the place with some cascading plants, so no one but you will know it is even there.

How to stop your dog from playing in and drinking from the water features?

Gardening with dogs is tricky on many levels but mostly when you need to protect expensive garden accessories like a fish pond or a fountain. Especially here in Australia, there is no way you can add a water feature, and not have your four-legged pal take a bath or a sip from it once the heat wave hits your area.

Experts from Cleaning at Northcote suggest simply adding a separate pool for the dogs in an out-of-the-way, somewhat secluded area. A small hard plastic pool should do the trick, provided that you keep the water in it clean and fresh, your pet will prefer it to the fish- and plant-inhabited pond or a steam. Furthermore, it is easy-to-clean and remove, in case you want your garden to look more presentable for guests.

No matter how challenging gardening with dogs might be, it is always rewarding to have a pet accompany you when you work outdoors, or simply play with your furry friend. Even better, in my opinion, the daily provocation of coping with your dog’s new mischiefs that keeps things interesting and your innovative thinking going.

Let’s Clean Up Pet Stains

Let’s Clean Up Pet Stains

We love them, play with them, take care of them, cuddle them, feed them, bathe them… and, yes, we do have to clean up after them… That’s right today’s post is all about our most beloved pets. While it is so rewarding to have a little, or big, furry friend, and it has been long since proven that pets improve our quality of life, no one can deny that where there are pets, stains and odd smell inevitably follows, no matter how vigilant we training the little ones properly.

Naturally, you will find various pet stain cleaning products in the local store, but most of them contain dangerous chemicals that can harm both your and your pet’s health, so in this article we are going to discuss the alternative green detergents that one can easily mix with household products. Not only are the natural cleaners budget-friendly, but they are perfectly safe for those naughty, all-exploring tongues and noses that are always curious to check out what are you up to.

Before we begin, I must warn you that the most efficient way to clean up pet stains is to take the faulty one out of the room first as his/ her curiosity might get in the way of your cleaning activities. There are many products in the stores that will help you clean up pet stains, but the safest ones are the home-made remedies, the ingredients for which you will find right in your kitchen cupboard:

Use Vinegar to Clean Up Pet Stains

Yep, once again white vinegar is the best go-to solution for cleaning up pet stains. The ultimate green cleaner will not only vanquish the nasty stains, but it will also neutralize the unpleasant odour, due to its high acidity. However, it works best on fresh stains. Firstly, blot the stain, then apply generous amount of equal parts vinegar-water solution, and let dry. Don’t scrub – remind the cleaners from Kensington! When the spot has properly dried, vacuum clean the area. If necessary repeat, until the stain is no longer visible.

Use Baking Soda to Clean Up Old Pet Stains

While your pet might know that eliminating on the carpet is strictly forbidden, he/she might feel tempted (or forced, depending on the reason why the deed was done) to find a hidden corner, out of your sight to go potty. The smell will inevitably lead you to the “crime scene” but by then, the stain might be dried or even days-old. For those stains, baking soda will be your best friend. Simply sprinkle baking soda all over the spot and let it sit for a couple of hours, and once again clean it up with vacuum cleaner.

Use Club Soda for Stain Pre-Treatment

That is right, club soda works well for pet stain, too. The famous party-stain-remedy for red wine spillages on your evening outfit is the perfect cleaning detergent to help you loosen up old pet stains. All you need to do is saturate the spot with club soda, and wait until the soda stops sizzling. Since the club soda in only efficient during that timespan, you might have to repeat the procedure several times.

Keep in mind that you have to remove the excess liquid by blotting, not by rubbing as the latter will only help the stain penetrate deeper into the fibres of the fabric. If the stain hasn’t been completely removed, use the baking soda treatment next, and your carpet will look like brand new.

If you have a puppy, and you are wondering how to house train it, here is a great article from Fantastic Cleaners Melbourne. It will surely help you avoid many accidents, and having to dig into the contents of your kitchen cupboard.