How to Make Your Yard More Pet Friendly
It seems like the majority of people today have pets, so it stands to reason that people should be thinking about the health and safety of their pets while they are in their yard. Here are some basic things you can do to help keep your pets safe in your yard.
- Fence off a specific area in the yard for your pet. Remember a properly exercised pet will be less likely to cause havoc in your yard.
- Train your pet to stay away from harmful things that might be in your yard.
- Many plants can cause stomach upset or even death in pets, if ingested. Research a plant before growing it in your yard to make sure it's not lethal to an animal. Check out the ASPCA for a list of plants that are toxic and safe for your dog here and for your cat here.
- If your pet is prone to digging, create a designated area full of sand and mulch that is safe for your pet to dig in.
- Use natural cedar mulch or pine needles in and around plants as this is safest for your pet. Avoid colored mulch and cocoa mulch as these are not safe for your pet and can be toxic if ingested.
- Put large rocks in areas that you don't want your pet to dig in. Placing rocks around young plants can also deter the pet from digging up the plant.
- Consider adding a water feature or fountain so that your pet will have fresh water to drink at all times. Make sure that the water feature is shallow and easy for the pet to get out of if they walk into it.
- You will want to provide a lot of shade and shelter for your pet, especially if you leave them in the yard for any length of time. If you don't have a lot of shade trees, consider building a pergola that can provide shade.
- Don't use chemical fertilizers or pesticides in your yard. There are plenty of natural alternatives, but don't assume that everything natural is safe for your pet. Read all instructions before applying anything to your lawn or gardens.
- Use pet-friendly materials for pathways that won't stick to paws such as concrete, flagstone, brick and smooth pebbles.
- If you have garden art in your landscape, make sure there are no sharp edges or glass that could get broken.
- If you have to use ice melt in the winter, please choose one that is safe for pets.
- And I know I said this before, but please train your pets. Not only will training your pet help keep them safe in your own yard, but it will help keep them safe if they are in unfamiliar surrounds. And besides, a trained pet is a more enjoyable pet to have around.