excerpted from There's No Place Like Home by Lizett Bond
Petscaping will be available in Fall 2011
"Pets are family too, and with the current economy, more households are choosing to enjoy vacation time at home by creating a beautiful backyard respite. Along with these aesthetic considerations, the needs of four legged family members are being taken into consideration when landscaping plans are laid out."
In support of the trend and pets, Scott Cohen, owner of Green Scene Landscaping and Pools in Northridge CA and co-author of Petscaping™, noted important factors to be taken into account as pet owners embark on the landscaping endeavor.
People don't often realize how important shade is to a pet." Cohen said. "They need to be protected from the elements. Along with shade to cool a pet down, another important consideration is a plentiful supply of drinking water.
From a pet landscaping perspective, Cohen says he prefers to design alternative sources of water. Instead of a bowl, he chooses ponds and fountains. With a pond, the advantages can be twofold.
"A lot of dogs actually like to swim in ponds, but you have to give them easy access, so we design ponds with steps going in and out so dogs can do so safely", Cohen noted.
Cohen also recommended misting systems as another temperature control item to enhance the outdoor experience for both human and canine backyard lovers. With the ability to cool an area by as much as 15 or 20 degrees Fahrenheit, systems come in two varieties—one can be connected directly to a garden hose and acts as a mini-sprinkler system; the other is a high pressure mist system with 1,000 psi pumps that atomize the water, allowing for a drier cooling experience, according to Cohen.
Providing a designated digging area is another solution. In the book Petscaping™, Cohen and his co-author, animal trainer Carolyn Doherty, recommend teaching a dog to use a specific, dedicated "digging area". As part of the training process, treats are buried in this section of the yard.
"Dogs are looking for smells, and the treats satisfy that digging urge", he said.
Helping customers keep their outdoor spaces looking their best is essential to capitalizing market share. The bottom line in crafting a pet-friendly backyard space is to promote safety, exercise, and property training to create a holiday-away feeling at home.