Outside dog area

by Linda LaBollita
(Woodstock, GA USA)

We have a small area in our back yard that is fenced in so that our dog may be let out. We have never been able to grow grass so when he went out he would come back with mud on his feet. Several years ago we put down a black cover and then placed wood chips down. He has never liked them (he tip toes on them) but we could not afford to replace them at the time.

Now the black cover is coming out and weeds etc. are coming up too. I would like to replace this but I do not know what to do. Neither my husband or I know anything about yard work/landscaping, but I am willing if I am instructed on what to do. If it matters - my dog is a Min Pin.

Do you have any suggestions? I have thought about putting down some indoor/outdoor carpet, but I am not sure...

Thank you for any advise you may give to me.

ANSWER
Hi Linda,
I laughed when I pictured your dog tip toeing over the wood chips!

Here are a few ideas for your dog area:

1. Lay down loose stone...about 4 inches thick. There are many sizes of stone/gravel, so you'll have to see what's available in your area.

2. This next idea is something I have been thinking about. Plant the area with Ivy. Ivy will grow there. When I go to visit family, I take my dog to an area that is covered with Ivy and he is happy to go there, especially since he has been doing it awhile. It will take awhile for the plants to get established, but once it does, I think it will work.

3. Concrete, although that's the most costly. This can easily be hosed off.

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