Ready to build a stimulating, safe, secure pet-friendly sanctuary in your back garden? You can also take some pet-proofing steps to make this a welcoming space for your animal friend.
Suppose you are thinking of redesigning your outdoor space and having pets in the family. In that case, this is also an excellent opportunity to create a safer and more stimulating space for them. You can incorporate simple design features into your back garden to make it more pet-friendly.
Here are some backyard upgrades your pet will love.
Create A Non-Toxic Outdoor Space for Pets
Planting with Pets Around
A range of flowering bulbs and plants may induce various physical reactions like gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting or loss of appetite in pets if consumed. In extreme cases, consumption of convulsions and coma may result.
You may want to check this comprehensive and locally relevant Dogs Trust Factsheet of poisonous household substances or garden plants for a substantial guide on plant varieties.
If you find it hard to resist some varieties, why not place them in larger pots or higher unreachable areas like hanging baskets?
Be careful with mulch, too, as a mulch variety made of cocoa bean shells will harm dogs.
Stop Using Harmful Pesticides or Chemicals
Poisons and pesticides for annihilating mini beasts like snails and insects may also harm your more enormous residential beasts!
Be vigilant when using weed killers, moss killers and lawn feed - keeping to non-toxic options will be good if younger children play in the garden too.
Have you got a water feature? Don’t be tempted to keep it clean with chemicals - avoid toxic methods as the pets may be tempted to drink from it. Wild birds may also drink or bathe in it too.
Be wary of the cleaning materials you use when washing down your paving or patio spaces.
Here are some Chemical alternatives
- Hygeia All Natural Slug Stop - this is a natural, non-toxic slug & snail barrier which will also be suitable for organic gardening. Both Child & Pet Safe! It is also rain resistant & long-lasting.
- Hygeia Mosgo Probiotic All Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner - This is a super-concentrated professional-grade cleaner. What’s more, this is also pollinator and bee-friendly. This makes the cleaner safe to use around pets on any outdoor surface.
- Westland Moss Master - This moss killer is an acidic soil neutraliser & lawn feed that is also rich in essential nutrients & provides deep greening with less mowing. It will also reduce water logging & is safe for children, pets & wildlife.
- Stick to Non Toxic natural fibre slug pellets if you decide to apply any as the non-organic pellets will be toxic
Let Nature Work Her Magic!
- You can also opt for other non-poisonous options like bringing in Ladybirds
- Let nature take its course and encourage your neighbourhood birds to go at these insect pests by not overfeeding them with fat balls or seeds during the summer. Let them forage instead
- Go the natural route with Slugs with salt and more homemade remedies like beer traps, especially at night
Plants Need Protection from Pets Too!
Conversely, you may want to cultivate new sprouting plants or plant in some saplings and seedlings without having them pawed at or trampled on before they mature.
You may have some prized flowering shrubs and perennials on the up and don’t want to see them destroyed before they bloom this summer.
Here are some simple hacks
- Place cuttings from thorny roses between the plants you want to protect
- Use chicken wire to protect the outer rim of flowering beds
- ‘Plant’ blunt plastic forks pointing upwards in between the seedlings instead of the thorny cuttings
- Develop raised beds for plants you wish to protect
- Put the bigger, more developed plants and shrubs at the front to block access to more fragile planting at the back
Over time you want to ensure you have hardy well-developed perennials and hardy plant varieties resistant to trampling.
Garden Design Features Pets Love
Some Paws Love a Pathway
Did you know some breeds of cats prefer to keep their precious paws away from soggy wet surfaces? Instead, they prefer to tread on more solid, well-drained pathways and surfaces like us.
Differing routes and surfaces are also stimulating for pets to experience. For example, try textured materials like sand or bark surfaces.
Play Areas for Pets
Just like children, puppies and kittens need vital areas in your backyard to help them enjoy playtime. If you fail to give them the stimulation, they may revert to digging plants or disrupting other garden features.
- The cats love a good climb, so consider building or investing in a fun cat climbing frame with platforms and walkways
- Cats love light features, so a mirrored wind chime up high may be an ideal distraction
- Dogs will need good old fashion digging-up areas so be proactive. Give them a place to indulge their digging desires
- Dynamic swaying grasses are the perfect distraction
- Then there are always good old-fashioned toys for them to engage with - it helps when you have humans play too
Keep Them Safely Inside Your Perimeter
Here are some simple steps for a more secure perimeter when it comes to your doggie pets
- Invest in a good safety latch for the gate
- Ensure your fencing is high enough - at least 1.8m
- Make sure there are no broken sections or huge gaps they can slip through
- Ensure there are no places they can access by climbing which may pose a danger for them
- Secure dangerous devices like sharp landscaping tools securely in your shed or up high somewhere - if you have sharp shears, for example, don’t leave them lying about the lawn
- The same goes for your shed, which may be full of sharp instruments, garden power tools or toxic substances - keep it securely latched
- Keep your compost bin secure too! It may seem tasty for them to sniff out and dig into the food scraps, but it may contain harmful chemicals or fruit varieties
Pick up the right supplies.
- Chicken wire - Hexagonal Wire Mesh Roll
- Paving stones or gravel for simple pathways
- Hygeia All Natural Slug Stop
- Hygeia Mosgo Probiotic All Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner
- Westland Moss Master
- Natural Wood Birdhouse
- Love Nature Wooden Birdhouse
- Heavy Duty Shiplap
- Railway Sleepers
Have you got pet-friendly garden ideas of your own?