GUEST POST: Creating a Dog-Friendly and Water Efficient Yard

Posted on October 30 , 2017 in California, SoCal, Homeowners, technology, Smart Homes, Green, New Homes by GUEST

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Having a dog can be a wonderful experience.  After all, they are part of the family.  So, is your yard ready for dogs? 

The following information will discuss different ways to help your furry friend stay safe, while also identifying a few different ways to keep your yard clean and (mostly) maintenance free.

Access to Clean Drinking Water

We all know that dogs love to frolic outside.  However, if you don’t watch them constantly, they may look for other water sources aside from their bowl, and that could make them sick.  If they get thirsty, they’ll probably just think they can drink from any source.  So, it’s up to us to make sure that the water they find is OK to drink from.

For example, if they’re outside, they may wander over to a puddle, and start drinking. To be safe, we should provide fresh water, which may require changing it two to four times daily, and make sure we direct our furry friend back to their own bowl. And automatic solutions are also available, for those of us that leave our doggos outside during the work day.

It’s Your Dog’s Turf - Artificially-Speaking

If you are a dog owner, artificial turf can bring more problems than it’s worth.

A common complaint about artificial turf is heat. The materials can make the surface very hot - sometimes exceeding 100 degree Fahrenheit even when the air temperature is in the 70s.  The higher temperatures often invite more toxic chemicals in, and around, the atmosphere. You will have to water the lawn often just to keep it cool.

For pet owners, artificial turf isn’t completely maintenance free, either. If you figure in the added need to spray your lawn after Fido “does his business”, your savings will be negated.

Saving Water In The Yard

Now that we’ve discussed why artificial turf can be problematic for your dog (and not necessarily advantageous for your water bill) there is ample reason to replace it.  Fortunately, you have options.

For starters, you can also use ground covers to keep out weeds, and decrease erosion. There are many varieties to choose from including rocks, and mulch - all of which are found locally. If you live near a beach, sand and shells are also excellent options.

For dry areas, you can use drought-tolerant grasses.  Lavender, tea tree, and sage are just a few common examples. 

Of course, for even drier climates, you can get cactus plants.  Just make sure your furry friend doesn’t go near them, and wind up getting stuck with needles.

In addition to smarter landscaping choices, you could also implement grey water or rainwater recycling systems. For grey water, laundry to landscape (L2L) systems are increasingly more common, particularly in California, and more sophisticated systems are available now, as well. 

As for rainwater barrels, that could be just an Amazon click away!

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If you follow these examples, you will have a water-efficient yard that everyone – including your dog – can enjoy for years to come… while saving a lot of time and effort, too!

Maggie Baker
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Maggie Baker is a writer from New York City who loves to write about health, lifestyle & the environment. She enjoys running marathons, playing golf, and watching romantic comedies. If you want to know more, follow her on twitter @Maggie_TBaker