You know something's wrong as soon as you get home and let your dog in the back door. Instead of leaping up into your arms and licking your face, it slinks past, its belly dragging on the ground. You take one look at your yard and your stomach sinks as you process the devastation. Your dog wags its tail nervously and looks at you as if to say, "I know you told me if I ever destroyed the yard again you'd leave me along the highway, but I just couldn't resist. Pleeeeease don't kill me."
There's a common solution to this problem. All you have to do is create a pet-friendly landscape. Dogs tend to spend most of their time outdoors, but even indoor cats can benefit from a pet-friendly landscape. That said, how do you create one?
The best way to create a landscape you and your pet can both enjoy is by giving in to your pet's natural tendencies, like digging. Since your cat or dog doesn't have the higher reasoning and verbal skills to negotiate effectively, it's up to the human (yes, you) to take the lead. Paying attention to your animal's bad habits -- we're sure you're already acutely aware of each one -- can help you plan your landscape with features that prevent these behaviors. Try focusing your creativity and attention on these areas, and simply give up the backyard to your pet. After all, they probably spend more time back there than you do.
This doesn't mean that your backyard has to be a wasteland of mud holes and beaten paths. We've got some tips on making an attractive, pet-friendly yard. Since dogs are the most high-maintenance pet commonly found in yards, we'll focus on them first.