If you love dogs you are also likely to love the outdoors and you probably want to take care of your landscape. But sometimes it can feel like your passion for your pet and your passion for your greenspace conflict. Dogs can be hard on landscapes, destroying grass and gardens, and tearing up your ground cover. You may also worry about their safety in your landscape, with potentially toxic plants.

If you’re ready to change up your back yard and want to make it just a little bit friendlier for your dog, here are a few of our favorite ideas to get you started.

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1. A Sand Pit

Does your dog dig in your yard? Teach them to dig in just in a sandpit to limit damage to your yard and satisfy their instincts.

artificial turf2. Artificial Turf

With artificial turf, you don’t have to worry about yellowing grass from dog pee. Plus, artificial turf can better withstand paw-traffic than real grass.

3. Sturdy Ground Covers

Has your dog worn away spots on your lawn? If you’re not ready to go artificial, groundcovers like clover, Irish moss and elfin thyme are vigorous options that can better withstand dog traffic.

backyard pergola4. Shade Sources

When you put your pup outside, you want to know that he or she can take shelter from the sun. Install umbrellas, pergolas, or just a doghouse to give your dog a source of all-day shade.

5. Water Features

Small, shallow water features can be a great way to help keep your dog hydrated and cool in the summer. Although, if you have a large water feature, you may need a fence to keep your dog safe when you’re not supervising them.

6. Pathing

From shepherds to hounds, some dogs like to patrol the same path every day. If yours has ruined your lawn with regular walking, consider installing garden stones or interlocking along their pathway. It’ll look much better without interfering with their patrol.

cedar mulch7. Cedar Mulch

If you are adding mulch to your garden, consider adding cedar to help protect your pet. Cedar mulch repels bugs, including fleas and ticks.

8. Add Trees

Relatively mature trees can be a source of sticks for impromptu fetch sessions with your dog. Plant a few, and you won’t be without fetch options.

9. Fencing

Some areas of your yard are too delicate or pretty for your dog to have access to. You can build a fence to keep your pup out. Consider stone or wooden logs for fencing within your property boundaries. Or, use electronic fencing to keep your space open.

sunflower10. Dog-Friendly Plants

Some landscaping staples are toxic to dogs, such as peonies, hydrangeas and dahlias. So it is important to be sure that you’re planting flowers and shrubs that your dog can safely chew on, if they decide to. Dog-safe plants include:

  • Marigolds
  • Sunflowers
  • Zinnias
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Thyme

11. Play Objects

Just as you might add plant objects to your yard for your children, you can add things to your yard for your dog. Agility equipment, like jumps, tunnels and weaves can entertain your dog, or just give you something to do together.