Petscaping | Living the Country Life


You can have pets in the yard and still have a beautiful landscape. Petscaping is landscape design with animals in mind to create space you'll both love.

Radio interview source: Scott Cohen, Garden Designer/Author\

Listen here to the radio story (mp3) or read below

Many dogs find their favorite spots in the yard. You can work your pet's love for the outdoors and yours by petscaping your yard.
Scott Cohen is a professional garden designer and author of a book about petscaping. He says many people want landscaping that respects their pets' needs. The first order of business is to make sure the yard is safe. Check for hazards such as exposed electrical wires, toxic plants, and gaps in fences. Then, consider what would make your pet comfortable.
"Is there an area that's shaded for the pet so the dog can get out of the sun exposure?," he says. "Is there shelter so that they can get out of the elements? Is there a grooming station in an area where we'd like to be able to clean the dog? Rather than have a big muddy spot with your dog hooked up to a fence with a garden hose where you're trying to wash the dog, set up a grooming station, an area where you know you're going to bathe the dog regularly with a table, and a hook, and a sink."
Dogs like to dig and can easily wear a path in the yard. Some grasses are hardier than others, so planting the right turf depends on not only where you live, but how it will stand up to pet activity. 
Landscape around the dog house with a topiary shaped like a fire hydrant. Cohen says even providing fresh water can be integrated into petscaping. 
"Rather than just a water bowl, I like to see things like fountains, and ponds set up as alternative watering sources for the dog," Cohen says. "If you build a pond with a little bit of a ramp on one side, and the dog knows that he can get in and out on that side, some dogs love to swim too, you might rather they swim in a pond than in your swimming pool."
Petscaping isn't limited to dogs. You can create a safe and fun backyard environment for cats, rabbits, turtles, and other pets. 

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