What To Include (And What To Avoid) In Your Pet-Friendly Garden

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plantsIf you’re a proud pet parent, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your furry friend safe and comfortable when they’re at home. You may have thought to remove harmful elements within your house’s exterior, but how much consideration have you given to your landscaping? Your back yard garden can be a refuge for your pup or outdoor kitty, but it could also pose hidden dangers you might not even be aware of. When you buy plants for your garden at your wholesale nursery or talk to your landscaper about making some changes in your yard, you’ll need to make certain that anything you may add won’t pose a risk to your pet’s health. To that end, here are a few things to include and avoid for a truly pet-friendly garden.

  • Avoid toxic plants
    Around 92% of homeowners who add plants to their yards are choosing ones that are native to their region. But just because a species of flora grows naturally in your area doesn’t mean that it’s safe for your dog or cat. Do your research and make sure that you don’t add any natural element that could be toxic. Some of the most popular toxic flowers include lilies, hydrangeas, tulips, begonias, daffodils, wisteria, azalea, and rhododendrons. While these species are beautiful, they can be fatal if ingested by your dog or cat. You may be able to completely fence them off, but you’d be better off replacing them with pet-friendly options like sunflowers, lavender, snap dragons, roses, or herbs. That way, your pet can munch a little bit without fear of dire consequences but you’ll still have a gorgeous garden to behold.
  • Consider safety features
    Retaining walls, fences, and other borders may be essential to keep your pet safe and sound. You can easily make these features even more attractive by adding in climbing vines or surrounding them with shrubbery. There are also some popular garden features you’ll want to avoid for the sake of their safety. Don’t use rough rocks or sharp mulch chips; instead, opt for smooth stone pebbles or smaller cedar chips that won’t hurt sensitive paws. Take care to leave out plants that have sharp thorns or spines, as they can easily lead to injury. Finally, be careful not to let parts of your yard grow wild, as anything from weeds and stumps to ticks and fleas can be a danger. Keep a watchful eye over both your pet and what you bring in to your green space.
  • Use their personality in your design
    If your pet’s going to be spending quite a bit of time outside, make sure to keep them in mind with your design. Think about their personality and the kinds of activities they like to do outside. Do they enjoy exploring on their own, or do they prefer to stay closer to you? Would they rather play a game of fetch or nap in the shade? If they require a lot of room (as bigger animals often do), make sure you have plenty of space to run around. And if they spend most of their time relaxing, you should incorporate shady spots, soft grass, and smooth stone slabs where they can rest. Cats enjoy a perch where they can observe the goings-on, while your dog may want to curl up under a swing or bench. Pay attention to their preferences and add in elements that will appeal to them without sacrificing your own vision.

No matter what kind of vision you have in mind for your garden, professional landscaping professionals can help make it a reality. If you want to create a pet-friendly yard, make sure to discuss your concerns with your landscapers and do your research on any elements that could be hazardous to your animals.

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