All pets use the garden. Like us, it gives them freedom and makes for happier pets. Some have been known to tear up the garden, but most of the time they’re doing us a favour. Cats and dogs are great at keeping furry pests away from homegrown vegetables and we want them to be able to roam free and explore their surroundings.
Although most pets will naturally love the outdoors, various complications like allergies and other animals can impact their time outdoors. Not to mention what they might do to your plant beds. But, what’s the best solution? It wouldn’t be fair or right, to keep any pet cooped up inside all day, even if it’s for their own good. But there are ways to make our garden a friendlier environment for our beloved pets.
8 Ways to Make Your Garden Pet-Friendly
#1 Clear Garden Paths
Just like us gardeners, we would prefer a clear and solid path to follow. Gravel is certainly a dog’s worst nightmare and cats aren’t much of a fan either, so try using pavers instead. If they still like wandering around the place, get down to their level and look at what they see. Maybe there’s an obvious path for them through all the shrubbery, you just simply haven’t noticed.
#2 Give Them Plenty Of Shade
During the summer months in hot weather, animals need to be outside. It’s the prime time for them to exercise and feel the benefits of being outdoors. However, for animals with thick or black fur they can get too hot and overheat. By giving them just a few spots of shade, it gives them an opportunity to relax but still enjoy the weather. It should also stop them from burrowing into any bushes.
#3 Know Which Plants Could Be Poisonous
It’s not a common issue, but some cats and dogs are vulnerable to certain plants. Not many animals chew on garden wildlife, however, some younger animals do, and this can lead to big problems. It’s worthwhile just doing a check your current plant life, seeing what could be harmful. When buying new plants it’s also something always worth considering. If you find out that some of your plants could be harmful, move them out of reach it would be a shame to have to rip anything out!
#4 Don’t Use Pesticides (Or Use Natural Alternatives)
Although pesticides aren’t usually deadly, they can be troublesome for your pets. They usually make most animals sick. The problem is, they’re a lot lower down to the ground and have much less body weight, so any chemical effect is concentrated. Going natural with all your pesticide is a much better solution for your plants alone, but it won’t have any harmful effects on your pets. If you have to use pesticide, then try limiting its use and keep your pets away from the applied area for a couple of days.
#5 Try Keeping A Good Space Of Grass
Although having less green and grass is beginning to pick up in popularity, it can be quite limiting for your pets. Animals need a space to run, they need a space where they can be free and chase after others. If you keep just a small space available, it will stop them from running riot and shredding up your beds. If you invite friends and family around who also have pets, it can act as a ‘mini park’.
#6 Toilet Habits
To protect your own horticulture, it’s worth setting up an area where pets can do their ‘business.’ You might not think it’s an important issue, but the dog and cat urine can brown your plants and actually cause damage. If you’re going organic this is the last thing you want on vegetables. There is a simple solution, it just requires time and patience. Try training your dog outside, so that they have regular spot to go too. Some pets, especially dogs tend to ‘mark their territory’ and usually it is your plant pots which take the brunt of it. As well as training them, use taller pots to shelter your shrubbery from any possible harm.
#7 Be Careful With Your Mulch
Mulch is a hugely beneficial product for your garden. If you create it yourself, it’s filled with natural organic ingredients which are full of nutrients and are great for your whole garden. However, for some pets elements of mulch can be harmful. Coffee beans have just as much of an adverse effect on dogs as chocolate does, so just make sure you’re careful.
#8 Make Sure Your Garden Is Secure
If you live in a city or close to a busy road, it can be worrying letting your pets out. Apart from changing where you live, the simplest solution is giving your garden some protection. If you can, put up some fences and always make sure that gates are securely closed it’s a great start. Some animals might be able to find a way out, but generally, it gives them a good perimeter.