We all want peace and tranquility in our homes. And so do our pets. Our home is our safe place when the world around us is a barrage of negative energy from noise, cars, computers, and TV. Our homes and backyards have the potential to calm us and recharge us with positive energy. Feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is the Chinese art of enhancing the flow of energy or “chi” throughout the home. It can enhance the elements that deliver health, good luck, wealth, and children while reducing negative energies.
Feng shui consists of five elements – earth, fire, wood, water, and metal – to create a balance in the environment. Applying some basic elements of feng shui to a dog’s life can promote similar health benefits. Dogs have a heightened sense of smell and hearing and can benefit from having a welcoming place that absorbs “pawsitive” energy.
Maintain the Energy FlowThe first step in creating a feng shui backyard is to declutter. Trim shrubs, pick up throw toys and give your pet plenty of room to run and play. It’s also important to maintain your lawn. Mow your lawn often and keep it free of weeds and pet waste. Attack the grubs early, so they don't create brown patches, especially in lawns in the Pacific Northwest. Water consistently, since dogs have high concentrations of salt and nitrogen in their urine. Their urine acts as a strong fertilizer and can burn grass blades, creating a negative feng shui balance. To counter the effects, water the area immediately, and give your dog plenty of water to drink to dilute the nitrogen content.
TurtlesIf you have a small pond in your backyard, introduce a turtle or goldfish. Turtles are believed to bring wealth and protect your home. Be sure to place a rock above the water level in the middle of your pond to allow the turtle to climb up and soak in the sun. For winter months, when the turtle is inside, place a feng shui turtle figurine in your garden or pond.
Keep it NaturalColors play a big part in feng shui, especially for high energy dogs. Paint a northern wall blue and hang peaceful sounding wind chimes to help with energy flow. Dogs should not be exposed to white blankets as dogs are elements of the earth. Good feng shui calls for earth-tone colors around dogs since they contribute to protective energy.
Your backyard is a shared space, so use natural elements in its design. Solid wood comes from trees. It reminds your pet of the comfort of the outdoors. Wooden chairs or fence posts can help balance the yard. Pebbles and stone tiles are also natural design elements; they not only look great against an outdoor wall, but they enhance the chi. Avoid using paint on wooden doors or panels; rather, opt to keep wood elements natural and warm.
BeddingPups enjoy a bed for snoozing but don’t forget to take into account feng shui properties. Place your pet’s bed away from a window, a corner or water elements that can disrupt the flow of energy. Water disturbs rest, so place their water bowl a few yards away. Use bedding made of natural materials.
Pet and PlayFinally, they're called pets for a reason. Pet your friend frequently. Hands-on attention will create a happier animal. It will also generate positive feng shui energy for you, decreasing stress and restoring inner peace. Since our pets provide feng shui for us, isn't it time we return the favor? Paying attention to feng shui elements in the design of your home and yard will add balance and harmony and create a happier pet.
Roger Fisk is a freelance journalist and landscaper. He and his two German shepherds enjoy listening to classical music while tending to the garden. All three of them enjoy chasing butterflies in the yard.