Like many of you, we love our garden and we love our pets, two big mutts, Moso & Faro, and we know that it can be hard to find the right balance between freedom for the dogs and a tidy, happy garden. When designing spaces for other dog-lovers, we sometimes include a separate fenced area for the pooches. The separate area to romp and... take care of other business... keeps the dogs contained and the plants free from pee-burn, trampling and munching (even well-behaved dogs *love* ornamental grasses). There's no reason to give up on good design in a dog area, however. Our dog run doubles as an orchard, and we grow grapes on the bull wire fence that separates the space from the veggie garden. The pea gravel is easy to clean, and it doesn't track in on wet paws.
So far, we've only designed "dog gardens," but judging from this New York Times article and slide show, we may get a chance to design a "catio" one day. We find some of the enclosures in the photos a little aesthetically overwhelming, but we're sure that there are more subtle options. While the article focuses on the benefits for the cats, there are advantages for birds and other native wildlife, as well.
What do you think?