Simple Tips for Pet & Disability Friendly Landscape Designs

An ugly backyard can be an eyesore. If you have pets at your place, it can turn even more gruesome. All that jumping around, digging up dirt, and taking any spot as an ideal place to urinate can seriously impact your yard. Not to mention, matters become even more challenging to handle if there is a person with a disability in your household.

Gardening is not only therapeutic for us but healthy for the pets as well. For instance, if you have a pooch, then spending time outdoors is essential for not only the dog’s mental health but also keeps depression at bay. In such a scenario, you need to design your landscape around pet and disability friendly ideas.

Let’s dig deeper into what you can do to maximize the outdoor comfort of a disabled person and your pet.

Making your landscape more pet-friendly

When planning your yard, it is crucial to take into account numerous factors if you have a pet roaming around. You cannot restrict the poor animal’s movement to indoors only. You can make adjustments to your landscape design though.

Here are some tips to bear in mind:

Be careful with the plants you select

You need to pay particular attention to the plants you choose for your garden because some of these can be toxic to your pet. These include aloe and dahlia plants. In fact, if you are a pet-lover, then you may even have heard about the poisonous mushrooms that took the life of actor and producer, Dwayne Johnson’s puppy. Hence, when you go plant shopping, it is essential to do your homework on pet-safe plants.

Set up a pool

Most pets, especially, dogs love water spots. Thus, it is best if you can install a water feature for your furry friend. Install an auto-refill dog fountain. This will give plenty of water access to your pet. A DIY dog pool is a good option if you are on a budget. Design a paw-shaped pool for your pet partner and let him enjoy the weather outside. Add a scamper ramp to the dog pound or pool for easy exit.

Add a shady retreat

Prolonged sun exposure can be dangerous for pets. It can culminate in heatstroke or sunburn. In this context, try to install a shade cloth or plant a large tree. These will provide a cooling spot for your loved pet.

Landscape with less lawn and high fences

Pets can be a bit careless when it comes to toileting. This can leave spots on the grass. Besides, if you have a pooch at your place, then he won’t rest until he digs the grass. Consequently, the action will waste the money that you spent on lawn care. Therefore, it is a must to go with a landscape design that is predominately based on hardscape.

Some of the best options for pet owners include flagstone, concrete, smooth river rocks, and brick. You can also opt for mulch to give a soft grassy touch. However, remember that cocoa bean mulch isn’t healthy for the pup. Don’t forget to keep your fences high. Outline your fence with brick or rock borders to prevent your pet from digging the area.

Modeling a disability-compatible landscape

Lots of disabled people love to spend time gardening. In several cases, however, the infrastructure may clash with their impairment. What’s more, the outdoor layout may not be sustainable for wheelchair mobility.

To this end, you can take these measures to make your landscape more disability-friendly:

Strategically add seating

It’s hard to enjoy a view without having a spot to sit or rest. This need for seating is more persistent for people with impairments. Thus, it is best to add seating to your landscape so that a disabled member can comfortably sit and watch the flowers. You need to pay specific attention to seating if your yard is large.

Plan a spacious layout and level pathways

People with disabilities often need ample space to move around comfortably. This is true specifically for people who use wheelchairs. The best you can do is to plan a spacious landscape. Clip the plants for making more space.

Additionally, level pathways are appreciable. You can use bricks or flagstones. If your budget isn’t lenient enough, then you can work your way around with planks that keep mildew and mold at arm’s length. Alternatively, you have the option of gravel paths. These aren’t the best, but they are better than uneven dirt.

Look into mobility landscaping

This point elaborates on the one above. Mobility landscaping revolves around making your garden more accessible to the individuals with mobility impairments. It entails leveling slopes, constructing wheelchair paths, fitting handrails, and terracing. You also need to concentrate on building non-slip-patios.

Install handrails

Handrails provide essential support for folks lacking in the mobility department. These should be fitted for sudden changes in level or for people who face walking difficulties. Handrails should also complement ramps and steps. Plus, focusing on the handrail diameter is critical. These should be approximately 45-50 mm, which makes them comfortable to grip without being narrow.

Raise the beds

Plant beds should be raised to make them more accessible. You can set them at the height of about 18 inches so that it is easy for both standing gardeners and wheelchair users to use them. You can also install a raised pond as it makes for a safer option for people with disabilities. These are also easy to maintain.

Bottom line

With little care and some modifications, you can always make your yard more suitable to the needs of your pet and disabled people. If you are a DIYer, you can try some of these landscape changes yourself. Or, you can let a Canadian Landscaping company handle it for you.

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