Your garden is the perfect place for your pets to play and enjoy the outdoors, allowing you to keep an eye on them. It’s important that your garden is a safe place for them to enjoy without any potential danger or hazards.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a ‘Making your Garden Safe for Pets’ guide:
Cats are well-known to enjoy roaming around the local area but if you’re a dog owner, we recommend ensuring your garden is appropriately ‘dog proofed’. This may include putting up a good, sturdy fence that is too high for them to jump over or knock down (if they’re particularly boisterous). Generally medium sized dogs will require a six-foot fence, so if your dog is larger the fence will need to be relative to their size (provided of course that you don’t need planning permission).
In addition to this, you will need to make sure your fence doesn’t have gaps or holes that your adventurous pet can squeeze through – or let other animals in!
If you own a breed of dog prone to digging, you’ll need to ensure there are no holes being dug and that the fence is well entrenched in the ground to slow down your digger and keep jumping dogs from knocking the fence down altogether!
If you are encouraging your cat to stay in the garden, planting thick vegetation around the fence will make it harder for them to get out whilst also making your garden a fun place to play.
There are several more elaborate fencing options if you would really prefer your cat not to venture beyond your garden, such as installing roller bars on top of the fence or building a metal fence that your cat’s paws won’t be able to grip to in order to climb over. You could also buy your cat a garden enclosure for them, similar to a large rabbit run, to keep them safe but these can be costly.
Lastly, if your garden has a gate, make sure it’s one that closes automatically rather than staying open and providing the ideal opportunity to wander!
You will also need to consider foliage and vegetation – there are numerous plants and flowers that are toxic to cats and dogs if ingested, so you will need to ensure that your garden only contains pet friendly plants.
Firstly, be aware of which plants are dangerous - you can find a list of plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs here.
When gardening, choose pet friendly plants to fill your garden with, such as peppermint, rosemary, milk thistle, grass (pet grasses are excellent digestive supplements), roses, jasmine, lavender, orchids, African daisies and bromeliads.
As well as protecting your beloved pet from dangerous vegetation, you will also need to use non-toxic pesticides in your garden as toxic products can cause diarrhoea and vomiting in cats and dogs if ingested. There are several non-toxic pet friendly pesticides available to use that won’t sicken your pet, or you can avoid them completely by pulling out the weeds yourself.
Your garden can be an ideal place for your dog or cat to have their own space – their very own house outdoors where they can hide, shelter from the rain or enjoy shade on a hot day. It’ll also help them establish their territory and make the garden feel like home.
Cats love to hide, so consider thick bushes that your cat can enjoy climbing into and hiding from the world. Dogs will need somewhere to shelter from the sun, preferably with access to clean drinking water.
Lastly, putting safety aside, it’s good to make your garden fun as well as safe for your pet so that they will have no need to wander! Think of putting in a play area like a sand pit for your dog or a ‘cat tree’ or series of tunnels for your cat to perch on and crawl through.
Keeping your garden safe for your beloved animals is important for their welfare and your peace of mind. Once you’re aware of the dangers and potential risks, it can be quite easy to ensure your garden is completely pet proof.