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Myself and most of my friends and family have animals. If you are like me, you enjoy being outside, especially with your furry friends. So when planning a landscape that suits you best you might want to think a little about how it may be beneficial to your pets.

Here is a chart showing how our landscaping needs can be catered to and benefit our animals:

Landscaping Needs and wants Pet benefits
Decks Great for a transitional walk out down to a lower level of patio, or lawn. Decks can also be a great way to get storage out of site. Consider leaving an area for your pet friend    under the deck. A place that is out of the sun is just as important to them as wearing a hat is to us.
Water featuresPonds, water falls, and bubbling rocks.  Great for atmosphere. Bubbling rocks are a great feature for pets. They are able to lick up the water without fear that they will fall into a pond. Or if your dog loves water it help with keeping your pet less damp!
PlantingsEvery yard benefits from plantings!       Plants soften edges, and allow for colours, and texture. While we don’t always encourage our pets in our gardens – It sometimes is hard to overcome. So choosing plantings that are not poisonous are key. My dogs were allowed in the garden, but knew they were not allowed to dig. They usually enjoy hiding under trees, large hostas and shrubs to keep cool.
FencesFences are good for defining property lines, and keeping good neighbours. Fences are important for keeping our pets safe and secure. Honestly they will not care what it looks like, but they will enjoy being able to move about freely in their yard, and you will have peace of mind that they are safe.
Garbage/ recycling/ compost areaIn Toronto it is getting more important to have an area to keep the large waste bins. Having a designated area that is out of sight, and in one location is becoming a reality that you have to think about. Our pets produce waste- so being able to design a landscape where you can clean up your pets waste easily, and are able to keep it in a location that is not a bother visually, and not located too close to other lounging and dining areas is important.
LawnHaving a lawn is both cost affective and fairly low maintenance compared to gardens. An area for your pets to be able to move about is very beneficial to you and to them! Having a well exercised pet makes a great indoor pet. They will also thank you for a place that isn’t in the gardens to play and run around.

By: Courtney Cotter