How to Choose a Ground Cover for Dogs

Dogs are just as much as part of the family as everybody else in the household, which means that decision making for the home will most likely include what is best for them. When looking at the backyard, this is usually the space where a dog will spend a lot of time and owners will want to consider things that a dog will not easily destroy, but also be a space where they can run and play. There are many things to consider when building a ground cover for your dog, and we have pulled together some important aspects to look at in the decision making process.

Problems to Consider

When deciding the set up of your yard, thinking of where your dog spends a lot of time will determine what kind of ground cover to choose. If you dog paces a lot in certain area, such as by the fence or neighbor’s house, grass might not be the best option in these areas as they will be worn down easier. 

Choosing to go with planters and dirt may cause an issue if your dog likes to dig. This can lead to plants being destroyed and the yard being hard to take care of as it is constantly being dug up. If you live in an area that has more rain, this can also affect the inside of your home as mud will be tracked in as your dog enters the home. 

One thing to also consider when choosing to have planters in the backyard is what plants are poisonous and what plants are safer for dogs to be around. While sunflowers and marigolds are safe for animals in the backyard, plants like peonies and dahlias might mean emergency trips to the vet if your dog gets close. Doing your research on which plants are safe for your animals is key before you head to the nursery.

Urine can cause dark spots and dead spots on both grass and concrete. Although a quick fix is to hose down the area with water immediately after you let your dog out, this can be hard to keep up with and will lead to more work for the owner. 

Options to Consider

Clover and Moss

Choosing to go with clover and moss is a great option that doesn’t require mowing like grass does, but still gives your yard the look of grass. This is usually meant for areas between concrete and stepping stones and smaller areas of the yard. There are many options to consider when looking at clover and moss that will determine which will be the best for your space- both aesthetically and upkeep.

Grass Options

There are two ways to go when choosing to have a grass backyard: artificial and live grass. Both have their own set of upkeep and perks and can be great options for your backyard space. Artificial grass will require the price of the install and will require cleaning throughout the year, but you will not have to worry about dead spots and grass dying in high traffic areas. Live grass does require more upkeep, such as mowing and watering, but is a great space for children to play and cheaper to install. 

Gravel and Wood 

Choosing to go with gravel or wood chips are options that require the least amount of upkeep in the backyard, but is also an option that many choose to skip out on. Gravel can be great for water drainage and keeping clean, but can be a hard space to for children to play in and for dogs to relax on. Wood chips can also be great, as they will not wear down in high traffic areas, and can be a low cost option. With wood chips, you need to be cautious as some can cause splinters in both dogs and children as they play. You can choose to go with a rubber option to avoid this issue.

Creating a space for your family, furry members included, can require a lot of consideration on what is best for everybody. Some spaces may require a mixture of different kind of ground covers in order to meet the needs and wants of everybody, while also being aesthetically pleasing. No matter what option you decide, make it a space that you want to spend time with everybody in. 

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