What Is A Dog Sensory Garden?

October 23, 2023

What Is A Dog Sensory Garden?

If you’re reading this, you are the kind of pup parent that really goes above and beyond for your pet and we’re here for that. 


Are you familiar with enrichment activities for animals? One of the most common examples are the colorful plants, ships, and astronauts you see in fish tanks. Those aren’t decorations for the human owners, they’re enrichments for the fish’s environment. They give the fish places in which to explore, hide, and play.


Your dog would love the same thing! As much as you and Fido love staring into each other's eyes and playing fetch, some extra stimulation for your pup can do him a world of good. There are six types of canine enrichment, but today we’ll focus on one, Sensory Enrichment. 


What is Sensory Enrichment?

A sensory enrichment is anything that stimulates any one or more of your pup’s five senses: taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound. 


What is a Sensory Garden? 

A sensory garden is any place you set aside in your outdoor area that engages your pup’s senses. The great thing about a sensory garden is that it can stimulate all of ol’ Fido’s senses at the same time. It also can give your pup an area to engage in his natural behaviors without ruining your own outdoor oasis. The smell, colors, and taste of the (dog safe) herbs and flowers, the feel of the grass, the sounds of the birds, etc. This provides a little sensory heaven, with many benefits for your pup. 


If the idea of creating an entire garden for your pups feels a bit beyond you, we get it. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or costly to be fun for Fido. Let’s look at a few simple ways to stimulate your dog's senses in even the smallest area of  your outdoor space. 


Herbs & Flowers (Taste and Smell) 

Dogs love to sniff and taste throughout your yard. Giving them a few safe options in their own little area can save both your flowers and wallet in vet bills. 

Many of your classic herbs have great medicinal properties for our furry friends. Consider putting a few in some pots around an area you want to designate as dog friendly. Let's look at a few. 


Sage: Good for your pup’s gastrointestinal tract and seasonal allergies. 


Rosemary: Contains many antioxidants, and is considered to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Nibbling on this herb can even offer your canine some pain relief. 


Parsley: Also rich in antioxidants, is thought to neutralize some carcinogens such as those found in cigarette smoke and kibble. 


Basil: Known to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.


Chamomile & Lavender: A nice calming combo for your pup. Good for calming anxiety and an upset stomach. 



Different textures for your pup to walk on and dig in will stimulate him mentally and enrich his daily life. 


Hay: Hay is great for scent games for finding hidden toys and treats. Just make sure to change it regularly.


Sand: A sand pit is a great digging medium for your dog, and also makes for a cool bed place to lay when he’s done. 


Artificial Turf: Artificial turf is easy to clean and keeps your pup’s area nice and green no matter how much wear and tear it gets. After you pick up behind your dog, simply rinse away urine and other residue. 



Perk your dog’s ears up with all the sounds of nature in his little space. 


Birdbaths and Birdfeeders: The splashing and tweeting of birds will definitely bring out the excitement in any dog. Just make sure to put it in a place that allows the birds to easily fly to safety when Fido’s outside. 


Water Feature: A small fountain feature would make wonderful sounds for you and your pup, and a little kiddie pool would be a great place for your pup to rinse off the sand from his afternoon dig! 

All in all a sensory garden can be an easy and inexpensive way to enrich your pups life, increase your bond, and relieve boredom and destructive tendencies. We at the Ultimutt Inn know this from experience! Feel free to come check out our sensory garden for inspiration. Call us anytime to schedule a visit and see all we have to offer at the UltiMutt Inn; Your Dog’s Vacation In The Country.