Pet Proofing Your Backyard


Your backyard is an attractive space for people to enjoy the beautiful landscaping you’ve created. With a little attention, your backyard can also be a safe and comfortable place for your furry ones to spend their time.

Fore help in selecting your ideal landscaping materials in Colorado and Arizona, trust the experts of Pioneer Landscaping Centers.

Elements of a Dog Friendly Yard

Gentle hardscape: Smooth flagstone set in pebbles form a dry creek bed where in dogs can comfortably tread.

Comfy mulch: Small cedar chips are easy on paws yet large enough, so they won’t cling to silky coats.

Border control: Pieces of driftwood persuade dogs to stay away from planted areas.

Running track: A long, winding path provides dogs with plenty of exercise.

Sensible plants: Plants near paths should have soft foliage but be sturdy enough to withstand canine roughhousing.

Marking post: A sculptural piece of driftwood gives your pup a suitable spot to mark his territory.

Shade and Shelter

Animals can overheat easily and will appreciate a shady spot just as much as humans. They’ll happily share arbors, pergolas, and other shade structures with their owners, but will especially appreciate a nice doghouse or separate shaded area in their own corner of the yard. If possible, have a pet door or leave a back door open so that there is an option for them to come into the house if they want to.


Our best advice is to plant densely and wisely. This means planting in raised beds or mounds and starting with one-gallon or larger plants. Put up temporary fencing around newly landscaped areas; when you remove it, add a rock border or low fencing as a reminder to stay out.

Pet Safe Landscaping

Thorny and spiny plants can cause serious eye injuries and should be avoided. Seasonal flowerbeds are beautiful, but many common flowers, including tulips, daffodils, azaleas and amaryllis can be poisonous to dogs. Look here for a complete list of poisonous plants to avoid. Also, be on the lookout for wild mushrooms, which can be fatal if your animals ingest them. If they pop up, dig and dispose of them immediately. Your compost bin should be off-limits for the same reason.

Swimming Pools

Even if your pets are strong swimmers, they should never be left unattended around a swimming pool. Make sure you have a fence around your pool and that the gate is always closed.

Securing Borders

Make sure to secure any holes that may develop in your peripheral fencing so that your pet cannot escape your yard. If your dog is a digger (and tends to get out by digging under the fence), there are a few ways to address the issue. You can add an L-footer to your existing fence, add a pre-made bottom fence, or add rocks at the bottom of your fence as a barrier.

If you are interested in securing your yard without sacrificing its visual appeal, you may want to consider electric or invisible fences. These work by emitting a light electric shock, or alternatively, a high-pitched sound that only your dog can hear, when your dog tries to cross the fence. They often come with small markers that help teach your dog where the fence line is. These types of fences will not harm your dog.

Guarding Against Ticks and Fleas

Make sure to landscape and mow your lawn regularly to rid your yard of ticks, which hide in tall grasses and long branches. Make sure to remove debris immediately to save your pet from danger. Fleas tend to live in dark, humid areas such as outdoor dog homes, sheds, and decks. Clean these areas regularly and remove debris immediately to prevent flea infestations.

Insecticide, Pesticide, and Fertilizer

The Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) gets tens of thousands of calls each year related to pet exposure to insecticides, weed killers, and fertilizers. Of the Top Ten Toxins of 2016, #7 was insecticides and #10 was garden products, namely, fertilizers. These can cause stomach pain at best, and at worst, be deadly. To help avoid problems with these products, follow these tips:

● Always keep products in their original containers, so that you have the directions handy

● Don’t use products near your pet’s bowls, sleeping area, or toys

● Know where to call in an emergency – most packaging has an emergency phone number listed

● Read labels very carefully and learn how much to use and where to store products

● Consider an alternative, like organic lawn care

Landscaping Materials in Colorado and Arizona

Make your yard a place that both you and your furry companion can enjoy with the help of Pioneer Landscape Centers. We stock many types of flooring and landscaping materials in Colorado and Arizona for your backyard design needs. Visit one of our stores today to start planning your new dream backyard and garden!