Cats and dogs are our most common household pets and these animals naturally want to be outside at least some of the time. Pet friendly garden design needs to include an area to the animals to enjoy but will not destroy your plants or landscaping. You’ll also need to make considerations for a toilet area, training your pet to use the toilet area, and design that keeps your pet within bounds if your animal tends to wander or your neighbors are not “pet friendly”.
Garden design that is pet friendly also needs to consider protecting local animal residents from your pet and protecting your pet from local animals. The idea is to prevent confrontations due to territoriality and to keep your pet from getting a disease from being bitten by another animal.
Rodents, fish, and reptiles need special considerations. You will naturally need a pond that has an air supply and flowing water for fish. Rodents and reptiles present a special garden design challenge due to the small size of the animal. Barriers or rodent runs built in the garden can allow your reptiles and rodents to roam the garden without any fear of losing your pet to the wild or a predator.
Fencing is the easiest way to keep your pet safe. You need to consider the size of your pet when selecting fencing. Bigger animals need higher fences. You can get cat proof fencing that is designed to prevent your cat from climbing out of the premises.
Electric fencing can keep your animals in and other residents out. The animals learn not to touch and
electric fence after one little shock.
You need to consider the plants that you have in your garden. Some plants are definitely bad and can be deadly for cats and dogs. The majority of pet experts claim that your pets will instinctively avoid the plant life that could harm them. Cats are particularly attuned to plants that are good for them. One plant you might consider is Saint John’s wort because the plant is a sedative and pain suppressant for cats and dogs just like it is for people.
Designing your garden for a dog is different from for a cat. Dogs like to patrol the perimeter of their space. You need to plan for this behavior and avoid putting delicate plants in the area where your dog is most likely to walk the most.
Cats and dogs need a shady and cool place to rest and sleep. Dogs and cats nap about two-thirds of the day so a cool place is absolutely necessary in the heat of Australian summers. The animal will find the cool spot by instinct. You might consider adding a bed or cushion in the shady spot so that older animals are as comfortable as possible.
Make a poo pit. Select a small area of the garden for the animal’s bathroom. You may have to train your dog to use the toilet. Your cat will take to the outdoor toilet if you use litter like the litter you use in the house.
A great addition to a pet friendly garden is a pet washing station. You need access to water and preferably a concrete or stone pad. The idea is to keep a dirty dog from tramping dirt into your home. Cat washing though is strictly a cat’s business.
If you need help re-organising your garden with some more pet friendly features, please contact Jim’s Mowing on 0800 454 654 or book online. Our fully trained, insured and pet friendly staff would love to help.