Can dogs run on pea gravel? A Comprehensive Guide

Dogs poop a lot and all that waste containshigh levels of nitrogen. It doesn’t take long for excessive nitrogen levels toraise the acidity of your lawn’s soil, often evident by ubiquitous brownpatches all over the yard. Train your dog to use pea gravel areas for personalneeds; the gravel will protect your grass and reduce the presence of unpleasantodors.

Dogs are territorial by nature and as suchtend to pace along the perimeter of their home to “secure” the area againstintruders and otherwise keep an eye on things. Puppies in particular are proneto following the same path to their favorite destinations in the yard. Theserepeated forays lead to trampled grass and other flora. Consider a landscapemakeover by installing a shallow trench filled with a layer of pea gravel; youcan’t expect grass and flowers to hold up to everyday abuse but gravel is aneffective defense.

One of the easiest ways to “dogscape” youryard is by creating a dog run using a base of pea gravel. Construct the runbased on your pup’s usual trajectories or design it to fit the yard’s look.Keep the size of the gravel in mind; you don’t want smaller pieces wedging intotender paws.

At first glance, dogs and spic-and-span yardsdon’t seem to mix; however, there are lots of ways to keep your propertylooking good and dog-friendly at the same time. One of the most popular andeffective options is pea gravel placed strategically in areas frequented byyour dog, or planned dog runs built on a pea gravel foundation.

Does your family have a pooch with boundlessenergy, frolicking in the yard chasing tennis balls and playing with the kids?Introducing a dog to the family is a rite of passage for millions of people butif you also put a lot of effort into maintaining a neat and tidy yard, youcould be in for a challenge.

Why is Pea Gravel the Right Choice?

Can dogs run on pea gravel?

There are two advantages to using pea gravel: It creates a healthy atmosphere for the dogs while safeguarding your property from destruction.

If you already own a dog, there’s a great chance that you probably heard about “pet-scaping” or “dog-scaping.” Dogscaping is simply the practice of designing a backyard that is both friendly and safe for dogs.

Dogs, whether tiny or large, usually exhibit high bursts of energy. So, this means that your dog will need space in the backyard to run around and play. Pea gravel comes in very handy in this situation. Below are the reasons why pet gravel is the right choice for dog-scaping.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pea Gravel Dog Run

Can dogs run on pea gravel?

Pea Gravel Playyard for Dogs

Since 2013, the City of Toronto has been using pea gravel in some off-leash dog parks and the surface hasn’t been pleasant for pups’ paws.

Arson the one-year-old Dalmatian has suffered scratches, a badly injured nail and most recently, a severely scraped paw, says his owner Kelsey Hicks.

“I was [at the park] for probably five minutes and Arson came walking up to me and I saw on his carpal pad … it was bleeding and there was a piece of flesh hanging off of it,” she tells CityNews, adding that while the stones aren’t supposed to be sharp, they are quite jagged and lead to injuries.

“I feel like a bad dog mum because he’s getting hurt and he’s my responsibility. He should not be getting hurt,” says Hicks.

Raymond Thomson, Policy & Project Advisor, Parks, Forestry & Recreation, says the surface of any off-leash dog park is carefully chosen based on the conditions and needs of a specific location.

“We haven’t done this unilaterally on our own. Over the years we have looked at a variety of surface materials – we look to experts, we look to the community, we look to other jurisdictions to see what they’re doing and what we’ve found is that pea gravel is a safe surface material for dogs and for people.

Thomson adds that pea gravel is not the standard surface used in all off-leash areas across the city, but it is used in locations where drainage is a concern — about 20 per cent of off-leash areas — since it is suitable for that specific purpose.

Fletcher has been vocal in her concerns and successfully moved a motion at City Hall in April to have Greenwood Dog Park in Leslieville resurfaced. The move came after a visually impaired women fell and broke her cane while walking her dog in the gravel. She was then ticketed by a bylaw officer for having her dog off-leash in the park instead of inside the designated off-leash area where she fell.

Fletcher says the the low cost of the gravel was an influential factor in the decision to use it and despite what the parks department says, it was not properly researched before it was adopted as the official surface of choice.

“The study that was done to make that decision was done on a number of small test sites. The test sites weren’t big enough to actually replicate off-leash areas and large dogs running on it, or anybody else walking on it for any distance,” she tells CityNews. “So that was an unfortunate mistake — not to have really robust testing.”

Parks, Forestry & Recreation says they currently have a city-wide study of the off-leash dog parks underway to see how they can be improved. It will include meetings with stakeholders, online surveys and “pup-up” consultations in parks across Toronto. The study started in the spring and is expected to conclude this winter.