Your pets are a part of the family and you would do anything to look after them, protect them, and keep them safe and healthy. Most pets spend extensive amounts of time in the garden exploring, playing, and enjoying the fresh air.
You have a beautiful garden and your pets love it! But is your garden safe enough for them? When people have children they spend extensive time and money making sure their houses are baby-proofed to ensure their child’s safety and protect them from hazards and any dangerous situations. Why not do the same for your pets? Even if you are careful about where they go, chances are they may find something in your garden that they shouldn’t, like a sharp wire or a poisonous flower.
Having a pet-friendly garden does take some consideration and careful planning. Here are a few ways you can make your garden a beautiful but safe place.
1. Plants and Flowers
There are many plants out there that can be poisonous to your pets. Before planting anything new in your garden, be sure to check first if it’s poisonous to your fur-child. A safe bet is to fill your garden with plants that are edible for humans too, like pansies, violets and roses. Be careful of plants like lily of the valley, foxgloves, and most plants in the buttercup family. Lilies are particularly toxic for cats, so be sure to remove any of these from your garden before bringing a little fur-ball home.
When it comes to mulches and fertilizers, opt for organic options particularly if your pets spend a lot of time outdoors. Dogs in particular are attracted to the sweet smell of most fertilizers, so rather use organic products to feed your garden. Keep pests at bay with organic pesticides and herbicides as opposed to chemical ones that can be toxic to your beloved pets.
In terms of mulches, avoid cocoa bean mulch. Just as chocolate is toxic to dogs, so is the mulch that is a by-product of the chocolate production process. Rather use a pine or cedar mulch in your garden to add that extra element to your outdoor space.
Alternatively, you can always train your dog not to eat plants and mulches in the garden. However, sometimes they get too curious and try to snack on something they shouldn’t, since dogs are chewers my nature. By training your pets, you can also protect your garden that you’ve spent endless hours and money on making a paradise.
2. Water, water, water…
Many pets, particularly dogs, love to play in the water! Although, it can also a danger. Be cautious of your pets around swimming pools and ponds. If your dog enjoys the occasional dip, make sure they are supervised and comfortable with swimming. Ensure ponds are shallow and you keep the water fresh to prevent pests like mosquitoes from settling in.
When it comes to your swimming pool, make sure you use pet-friendly chemicals to ensure the water is safe for them to enjoy. Consult your swimming pool professional to find out which treatments are best for your pooch’s swimming-fun. Be sure to educate your pets as to where the steps are to get out of the pool in case they fall in by mistake.
If you are not comfortable with your pet having access to the pool, make sure your fence is animal-proof as well as child-proof.
3. Pesky little pests
While your garden may primarily be home to your cats and dogs, it is also home to a wide variety of other critters, insects and birds. The last thing you want is for your pet to pick up ticks or fleas from your own garden. Ticks and fleas like to live in taller grass. Thus it is advised that you keep grasses trimmed and ask your veterinarian for a preventative treatment for your pets.
Should you experience a rodent problem, don’t simply put out any poison, as this can affect your pets too. Rather opt for rodent repellents or poisons that will protect your pets and the birdlife too.
4. Shady places
One of the biggest mistakes people make in their gardens is not providing enough shade for their animals. Your furry friends get hot from playing in the sun and love a cool, shady place to lie down and cool off. Plant lots of trees in your garden to give your dogs an area to relax and your cats an interesting place to climb. White-coated cats and dogs are more prone to developing skin cancer, so be certain to protect them from the harmful rays of the sun with some beautiful (and non-toxic) trees and shrubs. Not only are trees a beautiful addition to your garden but a practical one too!
5. Wire fencing
This biggest danger for your animals in the garden may not even be the natural elements at all. You may use metal fencing to your pond from your animals, to keep them out of your thriving vegetable garden, or simply to keep them inside your property. Although you may think you are protecting your furry friends, this fencing may be a danger in disguise.
Poorly manufactured wire fencing is extremely dangerous to your beloved pets. Since they are curious explorers they will sniff out all corners of the garden when they are out and about. The last thing you want is for your cat or dog to get caught on a wire fence and hurt themselves.
Chainwire fencing is the best option for your garden since it boasts so many great benefits. For starters, it is easy and affordable to install compared to other materials like brick and wood. It’s so easy you can even do it yourself! Once installed it is also extremely low maintenance, require no painting or upkeep at all. Manufactured from galvanised steel, chain-wire fences are incredibly durable. The material is strong and non-corrosive and allowing wind to pass through, it is less likely to experience storm damage.
Another beneficial factor is that chainwire fencing is see-through, giving you the opportunity to keep an eye on your pets when they are exploring your garden. Chain-wire fencing is the best option if you have pets since there is no way for them to get caught on or hurt by any stray wires. Plus, it lets sunlight through so your garden can thrive all year round.
Pets bring so much love into your household, so do what you can to keep them safe and healthy while enjoying your garden area. There is no greater joy than watching a pet having fun and exploring your garden any day of the week.