It’s that awkward time of year where you’re freezing in the morning and sweltering in the afternoon…and there’s only one thing on your mind (well, aside from your armpit stains): Sprucing up your home for spring. This year’s biggest outdoor design trend? Petscaping. Read on for everything you need to know about the yard trend that puts your pup first—reminds us of someone...
Petscaping Is the Brilliant Backyard Trend Every Dog Owner Should Know About
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What Is Petscaping?
Petscaping is landscaping with your pet—most likely your dog—in mind, ideally so that you can create a safe space where your pup can freely romp and soak up the sun (or snow) while you tend to other things—like your garlic harvest…or that glass of wine. “This includes removing toxic plants, adding in pet-friendly alternatives, hardscaping and adding in engaging attractions like water features or agility courses,” according to data from home insurance company Hippo.
WHAT KIND OF DOG BENEFITS FROM PETSCAPING?
Whether you have a chill French bulldog or super-energetic Sheepadoodle, every dog needs at least 30 minutes of daily exercise—depending on the breed—according to Dr. Daniel Edge, expert vet for Zoetis Petcare. And what dog doesn’t love unfettered access to play? But petscaping can also be a great way to reacclimate your dog if he’s experienced a bunch of changes to his daily routine—like a newly rescued dog with social anxiety or a pandemic puppy who hasn’t had much exposure to the outside world. “Your instinct might be to head right to the dog park or take your pup to an outdoor restaurant. But, if your dog has never done this before—or hasn’t been around a group of strangers in 12 months—he could react negatively,” explains pets writer Sarah Ashley. “Too much stimuli—smells, sounds, sights, materials—could be triggering for your dog.” Instead, dip your dog’s paws in the water by gradually increasing her stimulation while allowing her to play at her own pace.
3 STEPS TO PETSCAPE YOUR BACKYARD
1. Determine The Layout
The trick to petscaping your yard while maintaining a dreamy aesthetic is sectioning off areas where your pup can play. Think: fences, hedges or outdoor privacy screens that’ll prevent your dog from exploring areas he shouldn’t (because if he can, he will). “Say you want to garden, but your pup loves to patrol the yard as your protector. “You can create a layout that achieves both of these goals by creating a fenced-off gardening area and a stone pathway around the yard to keep you both entertained, happy and safe,” suggests Hippo. Really, the key to nailing this look is making the space work for you.
2. Garden Using Pet-friendly Plants
Wouldn’t it be nice to let your dog outside, grow your basil and eat it too (literally)? Well, with dog-safe plants, you can. Try bringing in some colorful, non-toxic plants—like this intricate red prayer plant—to accessorize your space with vibrant, organic touches. Then, you can use sturdy, pet-safe materials like concrete, pebbles, non-toxic mulch and stones to bring the look together. Just make sure that you’re enclosing your garden with a fence or utilizing pet-friendly plants that won’t harm Fido if ingested.
3. Create Dedicated Activity Spaces For Your Dog
Now, the fun part. If you have a sprawling backyard, go all in by creating a sensory garden, which includes everything from immersive obstacle courses to ornamental grass they can lounge on. Or if you have a narrow outdoor space, you can still try some small additions (like a hydration station or doghouse). See below for some of our favorite petscaping accessories to shop now.