Getting outside for fresh air is something we all enjoy. That includes our dogs, and sometimes cats, too. Before letting your furry friend run free in the yard, there are a number of steps you should take to ensure the space is safe. Below, we’ll go over a few of those steps and ways you can make your outdoor area pet friendlier.
First things first is cleanup. While you yard may be well maintained, there could still be unsuspected hazards lying in wait for a pet. For instance, sharp tools could pose a threat for injury, as might pest traps. These items and others like them should be stored or kept out of reach of pets to avoid accidental harm.
Another risk factor is any holes or damaged areas of the fencing. These breaches could create a means of escape for your pet or let other animals inside the yard. As such, it’s important to repair any openings in the fence. Along the same lines, you should install a fence if there isn’t one. While it’s understandable if this is not in the budget, putting up tall wooden fencing is great for adding security and privacy.
Next, you want to be considerate of the landscaping features. Certain groundcover alternatives, such as synthetic turf or clover, are safer for pets and more resistant to natural stains caused by animals. You could limit these stains by designating a convenient bathroom zone that’s not too close to the door, garden or hangout area.
Additionally, you want to avoid potentially poisonous plants and flowers. Dog-safe flowers include marigold, tiger lilies and sage. Plants that are poisonous to dogs include lily of the valley, hydrangea and chrysanthemum. Be sure to research any plants, fertilizers, composting and potentially toxic products before using them in areas your pets are accessing.
If you plan to let your pet spend any significant time in the yard, then providing water is essential. You could make a splash with a potable water fountain, sprinkler system or decorative water features. These are great for supplying adequate hydration, boosting the ambiance and offering entertainment during the summertime heat.
Lastly, it’s important to make accommodations to keep your pet safe from the elements. There are lots of ways to provide shade and shelter. One renovation project to consider is refurbishing an outdoor shed into a dependable dwelling safe from the sun and rain. These can be more practical than a traditional doghouse and have more curb-appeal. You could also buy new to better match the new aesthetic of the yard. These different shed styles can be more practical than a traditional doghouse and have more curb-appeal.
Creating a pet-friendly outdoor oasis doesn’t need a big budget. There are plenty of DIY and cost-effective solutions that just take a little creativity! For additional examples of how to renovate your yard to make it safe for pets, please see the accompanying resource.