Landscaping for Pets: How to Make a Pet-Friendly Yard

Taking care of a pet is a huge commitment, and although the thought of a new creature in the house can be exciting, it’s important to educate yourself on the adjustments that may be needed around your home and garden. You might be surprised at just how many things you need to consider before you can keep a pet safe and healthy, so start preparing for the long haul now and enjoy many years of companionship to follow.

Landscaping for Pets: How to Make a Pet-Friendly Yard. Two poodles playing with tennis ball

Plan for Adequate Fencing

Stringing a few fence posts together is the first and most important step to keeping a pet safe in your backyard, and it’s not a step to skimp on. A quality fence is one that stands tall enough to hold the most agile of jumpers, with no wide gaps between posts. If your fence is looking worse for wear, the time before you bring home a new pet is ideal for fix-up jobs. Get a professional to fill in any gaps and replace worn-out planks or wires, and you’ll feel better knowing your pet will still be there when you come home from work.

Landscaping for Pets: How to Make a Pet-Friendly Yard. Low wooden fence around the lawn

Take Stock of Your Plants

Whether you’re a proud gardening enthusiast or an infamous plant-killer, it may come as a surprise that certain plants can be dangerous or even deadly to your furry family members. Cat lovers should be aware that many common garden additions are toxic to felines, including lilies, tulips, daffodils, and chrysanthemums, so if you’re serious about becoming a cat owner, you’ll need to replace any of these species with a few friendlier varieties.

Maintain a Healthy Lawn

As many cats and dogs spend much of their lives outdoors in the yard, your pet will appreciate the luxury of a lush lawn free from weeds. The prickles on weed varieties like bindiis and thistles can be particularly nasty and painful when wedged into paw pads. The best weed removal strategy differs by the types of weeds that are most prominent in your backyard, as some are far more difficult than others to eradicate. A quality herbicide will kill the aforementioned varieties, but many common weeds also demand to be carefully removed at the roots in order to stop regrowth. Before you buy any such product though, take the time to do some research into which brands and ingredients are safe for your pet(s).

Keep Things Interesting

Pets with sizable brains, like cats and dogs, typically need stimulation throughout the day to help them develop in a healthy way. It’s worth investing in a few hardy chew toys, especially if you’re bringing home a new puppy or kitten, and there are always new inventions to be found in pet stores. The best toys can encourage interaction from your pet without your help, like Kong balls – these clever inventions have space inside for treats, which makes the game all the more exciting – or even electronic mice. Even if you have a lazy pet who can’t be lured in by a new toy, something seemingly simple like a lookout platform could make all the difference when boredom starts to set in.

Create Shade

Just like humans, animals will instinctually find shade when the heat of the day becomes unpleasant, so don’t forget to give your pet a place to seek refuge. Whether you do this by planting extra trees, hanging shade cloths, or building a solid covering over part of your yard, it’s important to provide your outdoor-dwelling pets with escape routes when harsh weather conditions hit. This is especially important in yards featuring heat-absorbent materials like concrete, which poses a threat of severe burns to paw pads on hot days. However, keep your land plot tidy. If you have some old trees, it is expedient to get rid of such ramshackle vegetation. Please, refer to professionals such as

Give Easy Access to Water

Your pet needs clean, freshwater just as much as you do, and even more when the weather is warm. In case, after a long day, you’re prone to forgetfulness, even important tasks like refilling your pet’s water bowl can be easy to neglect. A garden water feature makes for an easy solution to that problem, whether you install a moat, a fountain, or even a bird-feeder bowl, but this only works if you make sure your dog knows where it is and can easily access the water. Of course, other water sources should only be a back-up option, for times of need, but they will give you peace of mind knowing your pet will never go without.

Landscaping for Pets: How to Make a Pet-Friendly Yard. Great ecodesign move with the water gutter at the pavement

Although owning a pet isn’t always easy, it can be incredibly rewarding, and whatever you put into it is sure to come back to you in the form of companionship and mutual contentment. You might even find that you get more use and enjoyment out of your backyard once you have it set up for your furry friend. At the very least, you’ll have another reason to keep the weeds at bay and to repair that broken fence post.

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