How to Make a Pet Friendly Garden

How to Make a Pet Friendly Garden
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How to Make a Pet Friendly Garden

Tips for Planting a Garden Your Pets Can Enjoy Too

Many of us would give the world to our pets if we could. Lucky for us they don’t seem to care for grand gestures - a belly scratch or an empty cardboard box spells paradise for most pets. But now you can give them something even better: their own garden!

If you spend a lot of time outdoors in your garden, you’ll notice that your four pawed children will follow. Whether they are seeking the comfort of your presence or stalking butterflies you want them to enjoy their time in the garden as much as you do. Here are some helpful tips on how to design a garden that you and your pets can both enjoy.

Know Before You Grow

It’s important to get all the facts about a plant before you install it in your garden. This not only saves you time and money but also helps protect your animals from the adverse effects of ingesting harmful substances.

Some common toxic plants are:
Lily
Azaleas
Daffodils
Tulips
Hyacinth
Foxgloves
Aloe Vera
Gladiola
Hosta
Carnation
Begonia
Amaryllis
Ivy
Milkweed
Morning Glory

Chances are you already knew about some of these, but admittedly quite few of these took me by surprise. Now, before you go tugging up your tulips let me say this: It is perfectly fine to have these in the garden as long as you know your pets’ habits. If you know your pets don’t eat anything but the occasional bits of grass to settle their stomachs, then it’s totally okay to enjoy these plants in your lawn.

Having said this, as the old saying goes, “a pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you know your pups and kitties are avid nibblers its best to avoid toxic plants altogether. If you choose to keep these in your garden it is crucial to do your research on said plants and the symptoms caused when ingested so you can promptly diagnose and seek proper treatment as soon as possible.

It’s also wise to avoid planting prickly plants and to quickly remove weeds with burrs that get tangled in fur and cause damage and discomfort. (Foxtail is a good example of plants to avoid.)

Plant Some Fun

Catnip and cat grass are great options for your getting curious felines to enjoy the outdoors. Cat mint is beautiful on its own and is resilient enough to spring back up after Fluffy and Mittens have been frolicking in it.

Sick of stepping on poop in your lawn? Plant some border grass in an unused portion of your yard. From my experience dogs love to do their business there and the plant is durable enough to withstand usage while also staying bushy and attractive. It’s also a good idea to have a marking post so that your territorial male dogs have a place to pee besides your favorite rose bush.

The Hunters and the Hunted

Does your cat like to bring you little “presents” from time to time? If you have a cat that is an avid hunter you will want to make arrangements for your birds and fishponds. Make sure your birdhouses are high enough for the cat to avoid. Place a barrier around the koi pond to keep kitty out. If Snowball outsmarts you fencing method other ways to protect fish in ponds are:

  • Install fish caves.
  • Build a small bridge over the water.
  • Use plants like water lilies.
  • Each of these works as both shade and protective coverage from predators.

Pets add limitless value to all our lives with their unconditional love and contagious good spirits. The best way we can show them how much they mean to us is by giving them a fulfilling life in return.

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