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It’s National Adopt-A-Dog Month: Get Your Garden Dog-Friendly With 5 Easy Tips

October is National Adopt-A-Dog month, so we wanted to take a moment to honor all our furry friends out there. Bringing a dog into the family can benefit you in all sorts of ways. Pups offer us exercise, laughter and companionship, making adopting a dog one of the best things you’ll ever do. If you’re heading to the shelter to pick up a pooch (or already have), try these tricks to make your garden dog-friendly (and your dog garden-friendly).

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1. Exercise
Dogs get rowdy when they’re cooped up, and this makes them all the more likely to do some curious digging. Help them curb their enthusiasm for all that soft dirt by making sure they get in a long walk or a good round of fetch before they’re free to roam the garden. All that running around will encourage potty breaks before they get to your precious plants (you can also add a marking post into garden landscaping to help avoid this)

2.  Garden Toys
Set aside a basket of toys and treats that are especially for the garden. Dogs will make a break for their bin as soon as they know where you’re headed, immediately caught up in the pleasure of garden time. Having a treat or a fun toy to chew on will keep them happy and preoccupied, giving you the perfect opportunity to tend to those no paw zones.

3. Borders
There are some areas that are a no-no for big paws and dog doodie. If you want to keep your delicate plants and landscaping intact, consider working in a border that will have curious dogs sniffing around elsewhere. Raised beds or a small border fence can offer your yard protection while adding to landscaping appeal. Barrier plants with strong fragrances, bushy foliage, or prickly parts will help deter dogs too.

4. Garden Paths
All that soft garden dirt looks awfully inviting to scratchy paws and curious noses. Create clear pathways to help your dog distinguish the “no go” garden beds from the rest of the garden area. Gravel, stone and bricks offer your garden a distinct path that will add a boost of charm. If you want a path with a smaller investment of time and money, use pallet boards or mulch for a fun and easy alternative. Dogs will catch onto the idea quickly, and there are so many fun paths you can make.

5. Container Gardening
Sometimes our favorite plants somehow become favored by the dog. If your hound takes to certain plants, or you want to avoid the risk altogether, find a few good pots to plant them in. This will keep delicate plants happy while keeping the dog out of trouble. And that makes for a happy gardener and a relieved pet parent.

Now you can make that garden ready for the next furry addition to the family. Best of luck to all you future pet parents out there!

Posted By: Ashley Stevens, Behnke’s Guest Blogger

Stephanie Fleming

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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