Garden Safety For Your Pets

It’s great to be able to share your outdoor space with your pets. But it’s very important to ensure that it’s a safe and secure area for them to enjoy while simultaneously giving you peace of mind.

Pets don’t understand property lines and flat spaces — they need verticality to designate boundaries and areas. Ensure that your fences and walls are not only high enough to keep them in, but keep other neighborhood pets and possibly even wild animals, such as coyotes, out.

When it comes to cats, it’s important that there are no trees overhanging walls that would give them an easy way to get out and possibly not be able to get back in. There are special cat fences such as Purr…fect Fence (  made from a flexible material that cats don’t like to climb. It can be added to existing walls and fences or erected to be freestanding.

It’s also important to ensure that there are no holes in boundary fences or areas under them that can be a safety hazard and defeat any ideas of safe containment. Some dogs are born diggers and will work tirelessly to dig a hole large enough to escape through. If your dog is an accomplished escape artist, it may be a good idea to install chicken wire underground or even concrete beams along the perimeter of your yard to deter digging attempts.

If you are planning to include any garden paths in your yard, consider surfaces such as brick, flagstone, gravel, cedar chips or wooden steps that are both paw friendly and make an attractive feature in the landscape.

Generally grasses are nontoxic to pets, but it is a good idea to check before you plant. Also be sure not to plant anything thorny along pathways. For a selection of pet-safe plants, check out the list of nontoxic plants at

Speaking of toxins, remember to keep fertilizers and poisonous sprays locked away. And don’t expose your pet to an area after these products have been applied. Some pets can’t tell the difference between snail bait and kibble. In fact, if you have pets, consider using all natural, eco-friendly fertilizers. There is a growing selection and they are widely available.

Set aside a designated toilet area and train your pet to eliminate there. A pheromone-treated garden stake that attracts dogs is a useful training device in helping your dog determine the right spot. Male dogs will appreciate a permanent marking post in their toilet area. You can use anything from driftwood to an attractive fire hydrant garden statue. To keep your doggie toilet hygienic and low maintenance, cover the ground with an easy-to-clean material like pea gravel or cedar chips and plant shrubs around it to screen it off from the rest of the garden.

If your dog loves water, a water feature or a small outdoor fountain with running drinking water is an attractive addition to any garden or deck. But make sure it’s not too deep because if a pet falls in they could drown if unable to get out on their own. Also, make sure that you do not keep stagnant water as it can attract mosquitoes, which can pose a threat to you and your pet!

Editor’s Note: It is important to treat your pet and yard for fleas and ticks. Try a squeeze-on like SENTRY Fiproguard Plus IGR that kills adult fleas, ticks, flea eggs and chewing lice. Your pet could bring some unwelcome guests into your home. Prevention is so much easier to treat than a full on infestation, Enjoy the great outdoors!


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