Now that spring season is near, let us talk about gardening, but not just any other gardening. This time, let us focus on creating a pet-friendly garden.
After months of being confined inside, hiding away from the cold, harsh winter weather, it is not only you who is dying to get out and enjoy the sunny outside world. Your pets are also itching to set foot outside.
Since there are already tons of how-to guides in making comfortable outdoor living spaces for humans, it is high time we consider the comforts of our furry friends. So this year, let us give some effort to making our spring garden pet-friendlier than ever.
Pets are not just animals we domesticate. They are essentially part of the family. Over 67 percent of households owned a pet, with people spending over $75.38 billion on pet products. Of these numbers, dogs are the most widely owned pet, while cats and freshwater fish ranked second and third.
Let’s go ahead and find out how we can make our gardens paw-approved by our beloved furry animals.
Simple, Lowkey Design
The foremost tip in building a comfortable outdoor space for your pets is to get back to the essence.
Simplifying your garden ideas to cater to the needs of your pets, whether they be dogs, cats, rabbits, or chickens, is crucial. However, it does not mean that you have to give up your plans of a restful pond or a lovely flower patch. You have to keep in mind that your pets will affect your chosen design.
Accept that your design and planting need to be a little bit different from what you prefer in a non-pet garden. With consideration and compromise, though, you can still enjoy a lovely shared space.
Opt for pet-friendly plants as well. Select plants with soft foliage. Avoid any spikey or thorny plants as it causes injury. African daisies, palms, snapdragons, and most herbs are safe around pets. Do your research first before buying your garden plants.
Clear off Garden Path
Designated paths for your pets benefit both your garden and your pets. Not only will it accommodate your pet’s needs to prowl and patrol their little kingdom, but it also helps prevent your garden beds from getting trampled on. If possible, try to accommodate their existing preferred paths as most pets are creatures of habit.
Be mindful of what materials you will use for their pathway. Asphalt is hot for their paws, and crushed gravel is too sharp. Opt to cover the majority of your garden with grass, or use flagstone or smooth gravel instead.
You should also consider creating outdoor-indoor pet access. It helps keep your home safe and secure from burglars and maintains the general cleanliness of your house. You would not want muddy footprints all over your floor. Place doormats on your front and rear doors.
Choose Pet-Friendly Gardening Materials
Ensuring your garden stays pet-friendly goes beyond ensuring walkable paths and choosing pet-friendly plants. You have to be extra careful in selecting gardening materials such as fertilizers and pesticides you use. Opt to use natural alternatives instead.
Organic fertilizers and pesticides are much better options since it helps prevent harmful (and sometimes deadly) effects to your pet and you are also doing the environment a favor.
However, you need to be careful when it comes to mulch. Though it is good for your garden, some of its elements could harm your pets. When applying mulch, try to stir your pets away from the area.
Provide Shade & Shelter
Shade, shelter, and a place to do their “business” are basics and crucial parts when creating a pet-friendly garden. Your pet needs these features so they can thoroughly enjoy the outside environment, especially during hot sunny weather.
Shades provide a cooling retreat after enough basking in the sun. This can be achieved by a couple of small trees and shrubs and an area of cold pebbles. Talk with your local arborist to see what trees and shrubs best fit your garden size.
A continuous supply of fresh water is also essential for the comfort of your pets. You may opt for an automatic refilling water bowl or use a regular P.E.T. bottle. If you have several pets roaming in your garden, opt for multiple bowls.
Right housing positioned strategically in your garden is also crucial, particularly if your pets prefer to spend extended periods outside. Small trees and shrubs could conceal their resting area or slap some paint and decorative touches to make their shelter blend in your garden.
Designated toilet areas are essential too. Urine from your dogs and cats can destroy your lawn.
Secure Your Pets
Lastly, you need to secure your boundaries before unleashing your pets. Make sure your pets do not wander into your neighbor’s garden or escape on the busy road. The easiest way to achieve this is to invest in a good quality fence.
Transforming your garden into a pet-friendly zone could be challenging as it involves several trials and errors. But with perseverance and the right planning, it is eventually achievable.