Having pets in a garden can be an absolute nightmare at times, yet they are at their happiest when they have free space to roam!
One of the main concerns with pets and gardens is safety. There are so many things that can go wrong here, especially if you have many different elements. You have to make sure that you make the space safe for everyone, whether it’s your pet or small family members. Here are a few ways to keep your pets safe and secure in your garden.
Choose the Right Decking
One of the first areas to focus on when it comes to pets is decking. First of all, we would suggest that you think twice about going for wood. It can cause splinters and will be extremely painful to a dog or cat. Not to mention that you may have to go to a vet to have splinters removed as they can degenerate and lead to infections. Instead, we would suggest you check out the options they have at https://ecoscapeuk.co.uk/. Ecoscape UK have a wide selection of composite decks that you can browse through. Their deck boards are sustainably sourced, require little maintenance, and are very durable. Some of them also have anti-slip properties which makes them an even safer option for pets, especially those who like to get wet. In addition to getting the right decking, you can also arrange it so that it’s friendly to pets. We would suggest that you add a few rugs for them to lounge on and make sure that there is a shaded area. Decking can get extremely hot in the summer, so you could use an umbrella or an awning. You will also need to look at the railing on the decking. If it’s an elevated deck, you have to fill in the gaps if there are any. You can use safety netting for that. You can also add a ramp for a dog who is beginning to lose their mobility.
Be Careful with Plants
Pets are very sensitive to certain plants and you have to make sure that you avoid toxic ones. Some can lead to very serious conditions such as liver failure, so that’s something you’ll need to check for every time you plant something new in your garden. Things like rhododendrons, sago palms, and azaleas are all potentially dangerous for cats and dogs. If you want to add those, you will have to look for alternatives. You also have to make sure that you are careful when outside with the pet. Make sure that they don’t go on other people’s lawns as your neighbours may not have the same concerns as you.
You also have to be very careful if you decide to plant crops. Something as simple as an onion could wreak havoc on your pet’s digestive system. Dogs can get severely ill from eating onions and they may vomit, get stomach pain, diarrhoea, or worse. Their red blood cells rupture when they eat anything from the allium family. This includes things like leeks and chives. Note that these are dangerous for most pets including cats, so it would be wise to stay away from those altogether. Other vegetables to avoid include green beans, celery, and carrots.
Beware of Insecticides
You also have to be very careful with the type of insecticides that you use in your garden. Remember, these were made to kill living organisms, so you can only imagine what it can do to a little dog or cat’s stomach. You have to make sure that any container containing herbicide is properly closed and tucked away safely. The same goes for granules or sprays. You need to look on the label for instructions for proper usage and storage.
The worst type of pesticides for pets are fly bait containing methomyl, snail bait containing metaldehyde, and any type of bait containing zinc phosphate. Rat poison can also be very dangerous. So, if you’re going to be using any of these, make sure that it’s in an area that will be unreachable for your pets.
Use Safe Mulch
Not only do you have to worry about which plants and insecticides you use, but you have to choose pet-friendly mulch as well. Cocoa mulch is a very popular type of mulch that is a by-product of chocolate production. While it only contains trace amounts of cocoa, it can still be dangerous to a dog. Instead, go for options such as hemlock bark, cedar, or shredded pine.
There are tons of things that you can do to make your garden a perfect and safe spot for any pet. Make sure to follow these tips to the letter and ask an expert or other pet owners for more recommendations and advice.