Options for Dog Friendly Landscaping in Portland Oregon
In my years working with my clients designing dog friendly yards, I’ve come up with many strategies to prevent my client’s dogs from bringing the outside in. In the summer it might be a stick which you can easily throw, and in the fall; it’s a few leaves. But here in Portland, Oregon, winter and spring means mud. And mud is not so easy to stop at the door. So is it even possible to have a mud free dog in Portland, Oregon? The solution starts with your experienced dog friendly landscape designer.
Mud Free Newfoundland Dogs
The changes we made to the landscape for Jackie and Kurt in Tigard have saved hours of grooming and large dog bathing. Their Newfoundlands are now clean and free of mud and can come in to the family room and hang out with their humans. This was a side benefit of their Landscape Design in a Day.
Their old house comes with huge magnificent old Douglas Fir trees and lots of shade. Where there was shade, there was mud. Prior to installing our landscape design, the dogs could not come into the house at all because they were extremely muddy. I was hired to design a new entry and garden for the front yard and to provide garden coaching for the backyard. No one was talking about having mud free dogs. They could not imagine it enough to ask for it.
It’s my job to solve landscape problems for the entire family. Kurt and Jackie used my special cedar chips to create a mud free woodland “floor” in their Douglas Fir Forest. It’s beautiful even now, ten years later, the dogs are clean and poop is easy to scoop even in the winter.
Play Yard for Rhodsesian Ridge Backs
Cedar chips also worked well for another client with two large dogs, Rhodesian ridge backs. We created an enclosed area with plenty of room to rough house, so they were very happy in their new play yard. They didn’t track mud in the house (which made their guardian and my client happy) and other spaces around the property now have a far more aesthetically pleasing garden design. Heads up: If you have 2 large dogs who love to wrestle and chase, the cedar chips will eventually hill up in some areas and you will need to rake it out to keep a flat play space for the pups.
Raised Beds Create Running Paths for Poodles Back Yard
Yet another family had full sized standard poodles. Poodles are smart and they have a lot of energy. Many times, dogs (and the landscape plants) benefit from having clear paths installed to circle around and around and around. It’s a lovely way to play chase and get lots of exercise without the hard impact on their hips and backs that concrete or pavers do. A simple 12 inch raised bed can often be enough to point the pups in the right direction and build their running patterns. Once the plants fill in, most pups will stay on the paths and keep their feet mud free. In this scenario, you may need to protect your plants for the first growing season with a temporary barrier like a short wire fence or use plants that are either tough enough to handle tromping or can slightly repel the dogs because of smell.
Plant Tip: Hardy Geranium leaves (Geranium macrorrhizzum) smells like cedar if bruised. Dogs will play near by happily but don’t walk or lie in it because of the smell. I would never use plants with an odor that would hurt or cause discomfort to a dogs sensitive nose.
Creating landscape designs for dogs and their guardians is a joy and one of the perks of my profession. Read more ‘Protecting Your Yard from Your Pet and Your Pet from Your Yard’ on Houzz for an interview with your dog friendly landscape designer Carol Lindsay written by Gwendolyn Purdom. And make an appointment for your own dog friendly landscaping!