This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area



June 24, 2013

Owning a dog in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona

One of the great joys in my life is my dog. The Tropical Paradise just wouldn't be the same without her sniffing around, giving it animation. But there are some considerations related to dog ownership in this environment that are worth giving some thought to before you bring a dog into your garden.

First of all, this is the desert, and it gets hot. My heart breaks when I see a dog with a big thick fur coat being obliged to live where the temperatures can soar above 100 degrees. If you have a dog that looks like it would be comfortable in Siberia, it will probably be tortured by living in the desert. They can't tell you, but I will.

My house in the suburbs has a typically small yard. A big dog living there would be like being condemned to the center aisle of an airplane every day. If you have a large property, by all means, get a large dog. If you don't have the room, think twice before trapping a big dog in such a small space.

If you have a large property, especially the type that is open to the surrounding desert, or large open areas, having a small dog is a serious mistake. The desert is a place of coyotes, javelina, and hawks. A tiny dog, like my dachshund, could easily be killed by any one of these. Even sizable dogs can be at risk from packs of coyotes, or javelina. Good fences not only make good neighbors, they can help protect your best friend. There are six-foot block walls all around The Tropical Paradise, and she can go in and out of her doggy door whenever she needs to.

Like so many things here at The Tropical Paradise, I didn't plan on having a dachshund become a part of it. But here in the desert, in a tiny suburban yard, a tiny short hair dog is perfect.
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