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How to Design Kid and Pet Friendly Landscapes

The Family Dog’s Needs Come First

If you’re anything like me, your furry four-legged friend is just as much a part of the family as your human kids. When it comes to designing a new outdoor space, it’s essential to consider the needs of all your loved ones – both two-legged and four-legged. As a landscape designer with over 20 years of experience, I can tell you that taking your dog’s preferences into account is just as important as catering to your own or your children’s.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful canine companions over the years, and let me tell you, they have some pretty strong opinions when it comes to their ideal outdoor living space. Take Jack, for example – a loyal one-person dog who immediately claimed the new water feature I installed as his own personal drinking fountain. The minute I set that thing up, he was right there, posing proudly like he was saying, “Yep, this is mine.”

Or how about my clients Patrick and his two rambunctious labs? They were absolutely smitten with the fire hydrant-turned-water-feature I designed just for them. Those pups would spend hours splashing and playing, while their human counterparts enjoyed the soothing sounds of the recirculating water. It was a win-win for the whole family!

Navigating the Muddiest Challenges

Of course, not every dog is as easy to please as Jack or Patrick’s crew. Some breeds, like the Newfoundlands I worked with, have a tendency to track in a whole lot of mud. Before their landscape makeover, Kurt and Jackie’s pups were constantly coming inside filthy, making a mess of their beautiful home.

But, being the problem-solver that I am, I came up with a simple solution – a cozy woodland floor made of cedar chips under the shade of those magnificent Douglas fir trees. Now, their furry friends can romp to their hearts’ content without leaving a muddy trail behind. It’s a win-win, if you ask me!

Designing for Perimeter Pups

And let’s not forget about those pups who just can’t resist patrolling the fence line. You know the type – they’ve got to keep a watchful eye on the entire neighborhood, barking at every squirrel or mailman who dares to venture too close. For dogs like Rufus the Rottweiler, I make sure to incorporate features that cater to their natural instincts, like elevated platforms or boulders they can use to get a better vantage point.

Keeping Everyone Safe and Happy

Of course, when it comes to designing a kid and pet-friendly landscape, safety has to be the top priority. That’s why I’m a big fan of water features like echo chambers and frog spitter fountains – they provide that soothing, garden-like ambiance without the risk of a deep pond that little ones or furry friends could fall into. And, as an added bonus, many dogs love to play in and drink from these types of water features!

Another important consideration is the type of plants you choose. Certain species can be toxic to curious pups, or may have thorns or sharp edges that could cause injury. I always make sure to steer clear of those and opt for pet-safe, non-toxic options instead. After all, the last thing you want is for your furry friend to end up at the vet because they decided to take a little nibble!

Mixing It Up for Maximum Enjoyment

One of the things I love most about designing landscapes for families with both children and pets is the opportunity to get creative and come up with unique solutions that cater to everyone’s needs. For example, I once worked with a client who had two standard poodles and a houseful of neighborhood kids who just couldn’t get enough of the huge rock water feature I installed.

You should have seen the looks on those poodles’ faces as they splashed around, chasing after tennis balls and leaving little toy surprises behind for the kids to find. It was pure magic, and a perfect example of how a well-designed landscape can bring so much joy and fun to the whole family.

Striking the Right Balance

Of course, finding that perfect balance between kid-friendly and pet-friendly features can be a bit of a tightrope walk at times. But that’s where my expertise and creative problem-solving skills really shine. I’m always on the lookout for innovative solutions that’ll keep everyone safe and happy, whether that means incorporating sun shades to mitigate the heat of pea gravel or carefully selecting plants that are both visually appealing and non-toxic.

Take our friends over at Today’s Gardens – they’re a great example of a company that really understands the importance of designing landscapes that cater to the whole family. Their team of talented designers are masters at crafting outdoor living spaces that are both functional and fun, with plenty of features and amenities to delight both the two-legged and four-legged members of the household.

Putting It All Together

So, if you’re ready to create an outdoor oasis that’s truly kid and pet-friendly, here are a few key things to keep in mind:

  1. Consider your dog’s needs and preferences. Is your pup a water-lover, a perimeter patroller, or somewhere in between? Tailoring your landscape design to their unique personality and habits is crucial.

  2. Prioritize safety. Opt for features like echo chambers and frog spitter fountains over deep ponds, and choose non-toxic, pet-safe plants to avoid any unpleasant (or dangerous) incidents.

  3. Get creative and have fun! Remember, designing a landscape for a family with both children and furry friends is the perfect opportunity to let your imagination run wild. Mix it up with unique elements that’ll delight everyone.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can create an outdoor oasis that’s not only beautiful, but also perfectly tailored to the needs of your whole family – two-legged and four-legged members alike. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started on designing the landscape of your dreams!

Today’s Garden is Garden and Landscape Company, provides all you need about Garden and Landscape Design to get better garden decorations.

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