Creating a Pet Friendly Yard and Keeping Pets Off Your Gardens
Having a beautiful yard and garden can be quite the challenge when you have pets you share it with, especially dogs. By taking a little time to make your yard pet friendly and you garden pet safe, you can make your yard into an area both of you can enjoy and get the most of.
Your yard should be completely fenced and you should ensure there are no holes or breaks in it. Privacy fencing can help cut down on barking, especially if your yard is located where a lot of pedestrian traffic goes by. You need to have shade in your yard, if you don’t already have a good shade tree, maybe its time to plant one. Setting up a gazebo is great for some instant shade. All poisonous plants should be removed and your yard should be hole free so nobody hurts themselves stepping into one. Always be sure that fresh cold water is available for your pets and supply you dog with toys so they have something to play with.
Dogs are very hard on grass. For small areas changing your lawn to a stone, brick, cement or a flagstone patio has many advantages. Not only does this solution offer very low maintenance, but also stops any digging and minimizes the damage done by dog urine and feces and their constant running around. For areas that you want grass, be sure to use grass meant to stand up to the wear and tear dogs can do. A better choice than grass is clover. It is far hardier than grass and doesn’t show urine stains the way grass does. Dogs tend to travel the same path every time and if they have a fenced yard one of their favourite paths will be along the fence line. Putting in stone walkways over existing dog paths is a wonderful way to add some charm and beauty to a yard and will also help wear down your dogs nails as he runs around and keeps his feet cleaner on rainy days. Digging can be a problem with many dogs and bare earth is often just too tempting to resist. Be sure to fill in all bare spots with pet safe flowers, rocks, grass or clover. Using mulch, bark chips, gravel or anything similar is not a great solution as many dogs will find them fun to dig in. For dogs who love to dig, if you have the room, giving them a designated digging spot can work well.
For gardens, flower or vegetable, raised beds and/or fencing can work great and look very attractive. Dogs will see light coloured fences better than dark. If you don’t have the room in your yard for a fenced off garden or are renting your home, growing flowers and plants in containers, hanging baskets, window boxes and the upside down hanging tomato pots work well. When picking out the plants for your garden, when ever possible pick large plants as dogs are more likely to leave them alone, flowering shrubs are an excellent choice as they are beautiful and even the most rambunctious of dogs will have a hard time running them to the ground. Always be sure that no matter, flower or vegetable, that they are pet safe, dogs and sometimes cats will nimble plants and eat vegetables. You should not use any pesticides or chemical of any sort on your garden. These are not good for your pets, yourself or the environment. There are many natural ways to fight weeds and garden pests. Keeping cats out of gardens can be tougher than dogs, as fences won’t stop them. Laying pine cones around the area you want protected from them is a good and easy deterrent, also children’s sand boxes should have a lid so cats don’t use it as a litter box.
If you don’t want your yard covered in feces and urine spots, taking the time to teach a new puppy where you would like him to do his bathrooms is well worth the effort. Be sure to pick a spot that accommodates a male dog by having a tree, big rock or even a post.
Don’t forget to take your dog for walks and to the dog park if possible, do not use the yard as their only means of exercise and don’t leave them unattended for more than 15-20 minutes. Most of all enjoy your yard with your pets and don’t be unrealistic in what you can and can’t do and have in your yard.