The lovely weather we've enjoyed this summer has had us all wanting to spend our time in the back garden - and it's no different for our dogs.
However, it can be hard to know what you can do to keep your garden looking pristine when you have a dog, as they can cause unwitting damage to your outdoor area.
If you're looking for ways to ensure your plants and canine friends get by in harmony, try following these 10 tips from GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk...
1. Fence it off
If you want to allow your dog to roam off-lead in the garden, make sure you have a sturdy fence in place. That way, there can be no bids for freedom. Fencing will also be handy if you want to section off parts of your garden too.
2. Avoid exposed soil or dirt
Large patches of exposed soil or dirt will encourage your dog to dig - chances are, you won’t be looking to have parts of your garden destroyed, so try to avoid having any exposed areas.
3. Secure the plant beds and borders
You will want to make sure your dog doesn't accidentally crush your plants or use them as toilets. Limit the chances of this by constructing low borders or barriers.
4. Raise your beds
Building raised beds will provide your plants with some much needed protection, whilst helping to keep the beds clean and tidy.
5. Pond protection
It will be vital to cover any ponds or pool if you don't want to have your dog traipsing dirty paw prints indoors - it's also a good safety measure to have in place, as it ensures your canine friend will not encounter any danger in the water.
6. Watch out for poisonous plants
Get rid of any plants that could be harmful to your dog - did you know onions, garlic, chives, foxglove and crocus were just a few that could have potentially disastrous effects? It's well worth googling the full list to be on the safe side.
7. Keep garden gates shut
An obvious one, but no less important - keep your gate firmly shut to make sure your dog doesn't run off or end up locked out.
8. Don't grow thorny plants
Prickly plants may be in, but they can hurt your dog, and there’s also the risk of prickles getting stuck in fur.
9. Self-repairing grasses
If you have a dog, you should accept your grass's condition will gradually get worse - they'll be digging and going to the toilet on it. A way to get around this is by trying to plant a strong self-repairing lawn such as Buffalo grass or Kikuyu.
10. Give your dog its own area
Try hiding some of your dog's favourite toys and treats in a particular section - this will likely encourage them to stay in this area and lower the chances of problems in other parts of the garden.