Having a garden can be the best thing for bigger household pets, as they are free to run around in the open space. But if you want to keep your kitten or pooch protected, there are certain things you need to consider first. Here are our tips on how to pet-proof your garden.
Keep pets protected
You want to give your cats and dogs the chance to run outside and have some freedom, but you don’t want this freedom to extend beyond your backyard. This is why it is crucial you secure your garden properly so pooches in particular aren’t able to escape.
The only way to do this is to fit a solid fence that is more than a metre high – depending on the size of your furry friend – and doesn’t have any large gaps between the wood and the ground, so they don’t get their heads stuck if they attempt to dig out of your yard.
Prevent pet muck
There’s nothing worse than having a friend visit only to be left with dog muck on their shoe, unless perhaps you’re the friend who has to experience the unfortunate incident. There’s not much you can do to get your dogs and cats to go to the toilet in specific locations, but you may wish to encourage your pets to do their ‘business’ in certain areas if you can. Cats are slightly easier, as you can put an outdoor litter box in the garden for them and train them to use this – just make sure to empty it after heavy rainfalls, of course!
For dogs, the best way to get them to go to the toilet somewhere is to train them by taking them to a designated spot on their lead a few times, treating them when they successfully go in that location. You have to keep this up though, as pooches may take a step backwards, like with everything they learn if they are not constantly reminded.
Protect your plants
While pets are concerned with leaping around your garden instead of helping you sow your seeds or grow your plants, they may, once in a while, turn their attention to your flowers. This can have disastrous consequences, so it is wise to protect your plants so they don’t get chewed, ripped or dug out by your animals.
One of the best ways to get your dogs and cats away from your shrubs is to grow your plants close to one another. If you avoid having bare soil, they will be less inclined to dig in the area. You could also keep the ground moist whenever you can, as they find it easier to push their paws into dry ground.
Some plants that can withstand attention from pets are hardier species, such as thyme and periwinkle. It is also an idea to swap your pretty flowers for larger shrubs and small trees, as these are definitely harder for them to destroy.
Of course, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a budding chef and like to grow your own fruit and vegetables, you could use mulch in between the lines of produce so they’re not inclined to walk in among them. Or, you could put them in a permanent container, if you definitely want them kept out of harm’s way! You can find several green houses and garden sheds for sale available these days, so it should not be too difficult to secure your precious produce.
Remove poisonous plants
While you would never intentionally grow any plants that you knew were dangerous to your furry companions, you might already have lots in your garden without realising it. So, before you let your dog or cat outdoors, it is worth looking up the types of flowers you have in case some of them may have disastrous consequences for your pets if they chew on them.
Some common plants that are toxic to cats and dogs include gypsophila or baby’s breath, clematis, foxglove, eucalyptus, geranium and eucalyptus. All of these have horrible symptoms, which among other things tend to include diarrhoea and vomit.
Not only will you not want to see your beloved kitten or puppy in pain or suffering, but we all know what it’s like to clean up cat or dog vomit – it’s best to be avoided if possible.
What are your tips on having a pet-friendly garden?