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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Dogs love to spend time in nature. Having their own garden is therefore a dream come true for many four-legged friends. But there are a few hazards lurking in the garden. What should you look out for when you are designing your garden? How do you make your garden dog-friendly garden? 

What does a dog need in the garden?

What your dog absolutely needs is:

  • Access to fresh drinking water.
  • A place of retreat.

How can I make a garden dog-friendly?

The things described above are the basics. But there are other great ideas to make your dog feel right at home in the garden. 

  • A dedicated digging corner can be a great pastime.
  • A dog pool, water sprinklers or similar can provide cooling.
  • Various shaded areas protect your dog from overheating.
  • Your dog will also love sniffing and searching games.
  • Obstacles, climbing and hiding places for variety and good body awareness. 
  • Define taboo zones with clear boundaries ( small fences). Your dog will have even more fun if he is not constantly admonished and can move freely in certain areas.
  • A running area.

How do I fence the garden in a dog-friendly way?

If you are wondering how to fence a garden in a dog-friendly way, the motto is: safety first!

On the one hand, the fence should be stable and escape-proof, which means that the height of the fence should be adapted to the size of the dog. Bear in mind that some dogs can jump very high. 

Other dogs are big fan of digging that they can dig a tunnel to freedom underneath the fence without any problems. In this case, it is advisable either to use a concrete foundation or to build the fence a little deeper.

On the other hand, the fence used should be free of sharp edges, sharp corners, brittle materials or similar, so that your pet does not injure itself on it. Too large meshes in the fence or too wide gaps between the slats should also be avoided, as your dog could injure himself when trying to stick his nose through.

An additional privacy screen can provide more peace and quiet if your dog tends to be territorial and bark at anyone who passes by. 

Which surface for the dog toilet?  

First of all, a garden is no substitute for daily walks. Even dogs that have access to their own fenced green space need regular exercise away from their own garden and living area!

In addition, you can set up a separate area in the garden for your beloved four-legged friend to leave its own waste. Firstly, this has the advantage that your dog has the security of “doing nothing wrong” and secondly, that you can move around in the meadow without fear of stepping into a “landmine”. Especially for a quick lullaby or if your dog can’t go far for some reason, it’s great if he knows where to go in the garden.

What this looks like depends on the dog. Some dogs prefer to relieve themselves in the meadow, others like large gravel stones or simple earth. The ground should be as natural as possible. Gravel and chippings are recommended as a foundation, quasi as drainage. This way the lawn will last longer.

Choose a quiet corner so that your dog can do its business undisturbed. The size of the area should be chosen so that your dog feels comfortable. 

You can make this place stand out from the garden by putting a border around it or by giving your dog the signal to urinate here (if he knows how). This way your dog will quickly learn to use this spot as a toilet. 

dog harness that fits your dog

Which garden plants are poisonous for dogs?

When it comes to planting in the garden, caution is always advised, as some plants and vegetation can be poisonous for our darlings. That’s why you should always inform yourself well before you go out and get cuttings and the like.

If you want to be on the safe side, avoid the following plants or always make sure that your dog does not have free access to them. Please note that this list is only an example, there are other poisonous plants (and foods) that can be poisonous for dogs when eaten.

  • Ivy
  • Mountain ash, yew
  • Azalea
  • Lilac
  • Golden and blue arborescence (laburnum)
  • Oleander
  • Lily of the valley, snowdrops
  • Lilies, tulips, daffodils
  • Christmas star
  • Rhododendron
  • Hydrangea, Hyacinth
  • Angel’s trumpet
  • Gladiolus
  • and much more.

Please also watch out for fertilisers, pesticides etc. that could be dangerous for your dog. 

Which garden plants are not poisonous for dogs?

If you want to stay on the safe side, it is better to use these plants. Again, this list is only a small overview, there are of course more garden plants that are not poisonous to dogs. Note, however, that excessive consumption of these plants can also lead to various gastrointestinal complaints, such as diarrhoea and vomiting.

  • Kitchen and aromatic herbs
  • Fruit trees
  • Hazelnut bush
  • Lime, birch
  • Roses
  • Grass, clover
  • Lavender
  • Daisies
  • Rosehip
  • Catmint
  • Sunflowers
  • Marigolds
  • Forget-me-not 

Does it need a doghouse in the garden?

It is up to you to decide whether you want to give your dog his own doghouse in the garden. However, your dog would be very happy to have his own place of retreat, a place to rest and sleep. This can be a small dog house, a basket, a dog bed, a dog box or simply a blanket.

The important thing is that your dog can rest there undisturbed, that the place is protected from sun and rain and that he always has access to fresh water. 

It is important that your dog learns to calm down in the garden to avoid stress. Being active in the garden all day is too much for your dog.

Hundefreundlicher Garten


Making the garden dog-friendly offers great opportunities for your dog. You can be creative and take your dog’s needs into account. However, please make sure that your dog has enough space and is not left unsupervised. Enjoy the design and time in the garden 😊.