Lawn Care Tips for Dog Owners

August 18, 2022

A Happy Dog in a Healthy Lawn

Many people enjoy both the companionship of a dog and the aesthetics of a well-maintained lawn, but combining the two can go badly for both. Fortunately, there are ways to keep the dog/lawn relationship a positive one if you’re willing to invest some effort in teaching your best friend to confine certain activities to specific areas.


Correctly and thoroughly training a dog takes a fair amount of time, but, regardless of whether you do the training yourself, enroll in a class, or hire a professional for one-on-one time, both you and the dog will be better off.  This is because most dogs like being trained.  They want to make us happy, so if we show them how to make us happy and express our happiness when they do the right thing, their day is made.


In addition to the basic sit/stay/shake, your dog needs to learn that it’s not okay to follow an intriguing smell into the middle of the flower bed.  They can also be taught to only relieve themselves when on walks or in certain areas of your yard.  Wooded areas or any spaces that you’ve covered with mulch are good choices. (Products like Nature’s Miracle House-Breaking Potty Training Spray and OUT! PetCare Go Here Attractant Dog Training Spray can speed up this process.)

If your dog needs a little more freedom of choice, you can fence off a dedicated section to accommodate running around.  That space can also provide opportunities for digging if that’s an activity your dog enjoys.

Protect Your Garden

You might choose instead to physically fence off your garden or invest in an “invisible fence” system with a shock collar.  Consider planting strategically with dog exploration in mind.  Put smaller plants that are easier to damage in the center of the space, and place larger, hardier plants along the borders.  Professionals’ suggestions include coral bells, pineapple sage, purple basil, and weigela.

Know What’s Poisonous for Dogs

Many common plants will make dogs seriously or even fatally ill if ingested: azaleas, bloodleaf, climbing bittersweet, lilies – the list is surprisingly long.  Fortunately, the kinds of plants that gardeners gravitate towards are not the first choice of snack for most pups.  But, since the range of things a dog will eat extends from the inexplicable to the disgusting, it’s best not to take chances.  If you’re thinking about adding a new plant and your garden is not fenced in, be extra cautious and do some research first.  A lawn care professional can help.

Common symptoms of plant poisoning in dogs are excessive drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you think your dog has eaten a poisonous plant, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 or ASPCA Animal Poison Control at 888-426-4435. (Both charge a consultation fee.)

For those of us who love our dogs and our lawns, keeping both of them healthy requires time and effort.  If you’re committed to keeping your lawn in peak condition, there are no shortcuts.  Regular inspections and treatments by lawn care professionals like the team at Southern Lawns will help keep your yard healthy and looking its best.  If you have questions about damage caused by pet activity or any other problem, or another subject related to lawn care, contact us today.