Karen Crall loves her dogs, all seven of them. But she loves her roses, too.
Crall breeds Boston Terriers and still manages to keep a bounty of roses growing in her yard.
"My dogs have a large fenced-in area to keep them separate from the main yard," Crall said. "That way, they have their space, and I can still do the yard work that I enjoy."
For homeowners who love their pansies as much as their pooches, it's important to find some type of happy medium.
"Remember that the pets come first," said horticulturist Jane Waldrop. "If someone has a dog still in the puppy stages, it's best not to plant expensive things."
"Sodding is fine," she added. "They seldom mess up sod. Just keep it easy for you and easy for the pets."
With her dogs ranging in age from 10 years to 6 months, Crall readily agrees.
"You have to watch what you plant, because they'll come right behind you and dig it up." Crall said.
For homeowners who can't resist adding a splash of color, even at the risk of them being planted today and rolled over tomorrow, "plant perennials," Waldrop said. "They'll persist no matter what your dog does to them."
When the cute puppy days are gone, if your dog still insists on digging, "put a ground cloth in the area where you've planted," Waldrop said.
"For really bad diggers, homeowners might have to result to putting chicken wire around a plant to protect it. It may seem a bit extreme, but it works. Just cut holes in the wire and then plant. A dog cannot dig through that," she said.
Though dogs sometimes get a bad reputation for digging, homeowners should know that cats are diggers, too.
"... Having a lot of mulch in the area they like to use is a good idea," Waldrop said.
Crall has two cats in the mix.
"One of them thinks he's half dog and will dig with the best of them," she said.
Crall, who works as a veterinarian technician in Martinez, said she knows from both a personal and professional perspective that homeowners with pets also need to be mindful of the chemicals that are used on plants.
"Just be careful of whatever sprays and fertilizers you may use," she said. "It can be really easy for a dog to go right behind you and lick some of the chemical off a plant and there's no way to tell how much it might ingest."
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