Top Tips to Make Your Yard Pet Friendly

Your garden can be your pet’s dream come true and your worst nightmare if it decides to dig up your petunias or trample all over your pristine grass. Taking the time to make your yard pet friendly can keep your furry little friend safe, happy, and well balanced; not to mention save you a lot of money in garden maintenance. 

pets in the garden

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Here are some top tips to make your yard pet friendly:

Be sure your plants are safe for your pets

Dogs and cats like to nibble on plants but there are a number of them out there that are found to be toxic to your pets, like Alocasia, Fire Lilies, Parsley, Mums, Tulips, etc. If you are not sure whether a plant in your yard is toxic, consult the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants. Also avoid plants with thorns or spines that can seriously injure your pet.

If mushrooms and/or weeds appear in your garden, get rid of them immediately. They produce toxins that, if ingested, can be harmful to dogs.

Set boundaries for your pets

If you’re planning on planting vegetables or any flowering plant you want to keep from getting trampled on in your garden, it’ll be a good idea to plant them on raised beds. This lets your pets know they’re off limits. You can also use low fences, drift wood, or rocks around precious plants to keep pets away and plant sturdy shrubbery like Montgomery Spruce or Redtwig Dogwood around more delicate plants so they can be protected.

Give them a space to play in

Dogs like large open spaces where they can run around and chase each other or play fetch in. This is a good way to calm a restless dog down so they won’t end up looking for trouble in other places in your home. Cats, on the other hand, like high places so build shelves or any object they can climb and look down from. Trees can also serve this purpose but be careful because your cat can get stuck in it if he climbs too high. Scratching and climbing posts can also keep them busy.

Create paths for your dog

For a dog, exploring their surroundings is just as fun as chasing after their favorite ball. Most of all, they feel it’s their duty to patrol your yard for intruders. Take note of how they navigate through your yard and make them a proper pathway along that route. Don’t force them to take a different way through your yard. They will always want to go down their favorite path.

pets in the garden

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Make paw friendly surfaces

Make sure that path you made for your furry baby is comfortable and cool enough for him to walk on during the day. Materials like concrete, wood, flagstone, smooth rocks, and pea gravel are all good choices and can complement the look of your garden, too. Mulch made from cedar chips are gentle on the paws and can easily be brushed off of fur. Do not use cocoa mulch. This contains theobromine which is also found in chocolate making it poisonous to dogs. For your cat, you can provide a flat rock for him to lay on and get some sun.

Designate an area for digging

What dog doesn’t want to dig? Have an area filled with sand or loose soil and let your dog have at it. Bury some toys here so your pooch gets rewarded for digging in this spot. If you want to avoid making a mess of the surroundings, consider fencing in your pet’s digging area.

Have fresh drinking water

After all that activity, your pet will probably be very thirsty. Install a faucet nearby so you can readily give water to your dog or cat. You may want to put in a ground level water fountain so they can drink out of it anytime. Your dogs can even play in it. Avoid having stagnant pools of water. These eventually get very dirty and become breeding grounds for potentially harmful plant life and mosquitos especially in warmer climates.

Give your dog a place to mark his territory

Avoid getting brown spots on your lawn by having spot in a corner as your dog’s toilet area. Make sure this area is made of the same paw-friendly surface material as the path you made like flagstone, pea gravel, or cedar chips. If your dog is male, add a marking post like a piece of wood, an old fire hydrant, or even an old hub cap so he can mark his territory.

Provide shelter

When it gets too hot, your pets can suffer from heatstroke, which makes shelter essential. Plant a nice big tree in your garden that offers shade. However, it’s best for your dog to have its own house. That way, they can have a place of their own in your garden. Other options include tarps or cloths stretched over an area for some shade.

Cats like finding shade in shrubs. Some climbing posts also have a box at the top where your cat can take shelter.

Creating a space for your beloved cat or dog to call home; where it can explore, be active, and do what comes naturally to them, is a very important step in having a well-balanced and healthy pet as well as a happy owner.

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