Your yard should be a delight for the whole family, and that does not exclude your pets. It is this great outdoor space that provides a place where you can have fun, rest, socialize and enjoy your time gardening. However, your pets will definitely be eager to dash outside and have a good run, or just soak up the sun while taking a nap. Either way, it is essential to make your yard safe and pleasant for your cats and dogs, so you can relax and not worry about what they’re stomping on, which plants they’re nibbling at or whether they can jump that fence.
With that in mind, here are some pet animal-friendly yard ideas to help you make it a haven for the whole family.
Mind Your Fences
There are numerous reasons your pets might want to cross the boundaries you set for them. They are very often bored with running around the same old yard all day, so they’ll be quick to find their way to the other side. Furthermore, they might be spooked by loud noises or bad weather, and seek solace over the fence. Sometimes, it is just their need for socializing, especially with the opposite sex, which will make them want to jump over into the unknown.
Dogs, in particular, are prone to such mischief, and while some are athletic enough to literally jump over the fence, the majority of them will try to climb over. By covering the inside of the fence with smooth material such as thick OSB plywood, you eliminate the risk of them escaping.
To make sure they don’t dig their way out, place large rocks along the bottom edge of the fencing. Mend all the holes they can squeeze through, and change the built-in latch for something more complex if they ever figure out how to open the gate.
Safe Plants for your Animal-Friendly yard
Your pet’s curiosity is insatiable (as you might already know) and to satisfy their hunger for knowledge, they will sniff and nibble at just about anything, including the plants in your yard. This may prove to be very harmful, or even fatal. Vomiting, diarrhea, breathing issues, loss of appetite and lethargy are just some of the signs your pet has been eating something other than their regular chow.
Cats are very prone to this kind of behavior and its important to be aware of potentially harmful species, as well as those that are a safe choice for your feline. Dogs, on the other hand, will take a bite out of something as well, but there is a much greater possibility that they will dig out your plants or walk all over them. You can always put up fences to prevent such situations, but if not, you should make sure that pet-friendly greenery is considered in the area.
Make It Fun
By ensuring your pets can have fun in your backyard, you reduce the risk of them running off or eating what they shouldn’t. Make their favorite toys accessible (interactive toys are a great option) and make sure they have access to food and water, as well as shade and shelter.
To make a fun play area in your yard, take a look at some of the dog play courses and make use of plants and hardscaping to create intriguing obstacles such as balance beams or tunnels. You can even install a small window in your fence so your pets can take a look at what’s going on in the street. However, if your pooch has a tendency to bark at most unfamiliar things that move, you might want to consider leaving that option out of your garden design for the sake of much-needed peace and quiet.
An easily accessible source of freshwater is a must when it comes to your pets, so why not take the opportunity to add some water features to your landscape design that will both add to the overall appeal and provide some fun for your four-legged friends? You can opt for a splash fountain or a stream, or even a small pond, which your water-loving dog will adore. Again, safety comes first, so if you’re building a pool-like feature, make sure your dog will be able to get out easily, in case they fall in or decide to take a dip.
This is not a complicated task, and all you need to do is dig a hole, position the liner and decorate it with stones, mulch, or plants. However, if you do not wish to engage in such a project, a kiddie pool will do the trick. Add some water-resistant toys to it, and you’ll keep your pet busy for hours on end. In any case, keep in mind that water is a precious resource, and mind the quantity that you use when operating your fountains, streams, and sprinklers, or filling your pools and ponds.
Your backyard should be an area everybody gladly spends time in, including your pets. If they are happy and entertained, they won’t feel the need to cause trouble which may put them in harm’s way. They will be well-exercised, busy, and, most importantly, happy, and you will be able to relax and enjoy your outdoor space worry-free.