The furry children in your life also need to be considered when you are planning your yard.
It is all about how you put together the entire package so that you can enjoy your yard, and so can your dog, without one's enjoyment infringing on that of the other, according to Jean Bragdon, operations manager of Lurvey's Garden Center in Des Plaines.
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"I have a friend who mulched an area all around the edges of her property, between her bushes and her fence so that her dog could run an entire circle around the yard without hurting her gardens," Bragdon said.
"When you are at her home, you really don't see the dog's area because it is hidden. All you see is her beautiful landscaping. She has made her yard functional for both the viewer and the dog," she continued.
And while some pet owners fret about certain plants harming their animals, Bragdon dismisses the concern.
"Most animals automatically know what is bad for them. Some individual animals will get a skin rash for certain plants because they are allergic to it, but that is as individual as a human's allergies. It is just a big gray area so there is no rule of thumb," she explained.
She did, however, urge the use of pet-friendly, organic fertilizers if you have a pet.
If you love your animals but hate dealing with the lawn destruction, RYCO Landscaping's exclusive FieldTurf product is an option. It is becoming popular with pet owners because animals who like to dig cannot penetrate it, no mud gets tracked inside from it and it is not hot on their paws, according to Colin Taheny, vice president of sales for the company with offices in Lake in the Hills and South Barrington.
FieldTurf is particularly catching on with kennels and pet day-care facilities where dogs congregate because it drains better than real grass, lasts for 15 to 20 years, does not turn yellow from pet waste and does not require potentially dangerous fertilizers or pesticides.
"FieldTurf is also proven to stand up to the most challenging of pets," Taheny added.