Spring is the time of year when our thoughts return to our gardens. The spring flowers are here and the promise of summer is just around the corner. While we may be wondering which new plants to choose and where a little landscaping could freshen up the garden, for those with pets there’s also an entirely different set of considerations to take into account. If you’ve got cats, dogs or other animals to take care of, it is easier than you think to create a pet-friendly garden that’s also a pleasure for their human companions. We’ve rounded up seven of the best ways to make your garden a pet-friendly zone.
- Paws for thought
Those sensitive paw pads require a soft, warm surface to walk on so choose your paving carefully. A softly hued, high-quality sandstone feels good underfoot and is perfect for pets to lay out on when Fido or Felix want to do a little sunbathing.
- Sturdy fencing
Losing a pet, or having one escape from the boundaries of your home and garden is unthinkable. For you to enjoy peace of mind while your four-legged friends enjoy the fresh air, you must invest in strong fencing that’s high enough to contain even the most determined jumper.
- Drink in the view
As the summer heat rises, your pet will need easy access to fresh, clean water. Why not provide it in the form of a gurgling, flowing water feature? If the weather gets really warm, some dogs may even choose to soak their overheated bodies to help them cool down. As well as being a great practical choice for pets, a water feature also introduces a lovely focal point to your garden.
- Shady business
A shaded area is a must, especially if your pets like to stay outside for any length of time. This may be a wooded patch of your garden or a specially built structure. Think creatively – could your pets escape the sun’s harsh rays beneath the decking, in your garden shed, or in some other cooler area?
- Patrol paths
All pet owners know that both cats and dogs are territorial, so why not create a beautifully laid path for them to patrol?
- Soak it up
There’s no way to deny it – sometimes cats and dogs go to the toilet in exactly the wrong area… Choosing a quality vitrified paving, either as a plank or a tile, will mean that any mess will stay on the surface, making it easier for you to clean when it comes to the mopping up.
- Safe planting
As a pet owner and a gardener there are some plants to avoid at all costs. Many, like those with thorns, can cause physical injuries, whilst others are poisonous to animals, causing symptoms from short-lived tummy problems to potentially serious damage to vital organs. Geraniums, marigolds and dahlias are just a few of the plants that can cause problems.
Your pets are part of your family and deserve to enjoy their time outdoors as much as everyone else. By following these simple tips, you can make your garden a safer, more fun place for all your furry friends.