Create a Pet-Friendly Lawn & Garden

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Does your dog think he has a “green paw”? Have you observed his unconventional approach to gardening (like digging up an entire flower bed in less than ten seconds)?

Trying to maintain a pristine lawn or garden can be frustrating when you feel like you and your pet aren’t on the same page. With some compromises, your backyard haven can become a space that both you and your pet can enjoy!

  • Take a walk around your yard and assess whether there is any damage or risks to your pet. For instance, you may not have noticed that your fence was damaged in the last ice storm, but now that the snow has melted it poses a much bigger risk.
  • Go big! Pick plants that are larger and can function as barriers. Try using them as a border around your garden. This will hopefully dissuade your dog from venturing past them because of their large size.
  • Create a fenced off area, especially if you have plants or produce that you want to protect from your pup’s adventurous appetite.
  • If your dog earns a gold star for digging, it may be a good idea to keep your plants out of the earth. Containers, hanging pots, and raised beds will help keep your flora out of reach.
  • For the dog that just can’t kick their digging addiction, consider giving them their own sanctuary where they can dig to their heart’s content. A sandbox is a great option for a designated dig spot that will satisfy their natural instinct.
  • Want to deter your dog or cat from a particular area in your backyard? Spice up your garden – literally! Some spices like crushed dried pepper can act as deterrents because of their scent. Sprinkle some around the areas that you want your pet to keep out of.
  • Sometimes our pet’s curiosity gets the best of them and they may eat something that they shouldn’t. Keep your pet safe and only use pet-safe plants in your garden. The ASPCA has extensive lists of toxic and non-toxic plants.
  • Are you and your lawn facing a losing battle against those dreaded weeds? Don’t use the toxic stuff to deal with them. If you don’t mind giving your arms a workout, pull the weeds by hand or use a weeding gadget. You can also opt for a non-toxic solution that will be safer for your pet.
  • The same goes for fertilizer. Choose a non-toxic, pet-safe option. Pets often lick their paws, so you want to minimize the risk of them accidentally ingesting something poisonous.
  • Enough of what your dog can’t do. Let’s talk about what your dog can do. Give your dog his or her own oasis complete with a kiddie pool for cooling down, trees for lounging in the shade, and a big rock to survey the land from.
  • Don’t forget the toys! Playtime is essential and will keep your pet out of trouble (like trampling your newly-planted shrubs). Your pet will especially appreciate if you join in on the fun too.

Try out these ideas and you’ll have a garden-friendly feline or Fido in no time!