How to create a pet friendly garden

As the warmer weather approaches you may be thinking to yourself, can I have a nice garden with a dog? And pet owners will be pleased to know the short answer is yes! Below we will discuss the best ways you can make your garden area a safe environment for pets to enjoy throughout the year. Whether you’re eagerly awaiting warmer days for your furry friend to play outside freely or you’re preening your garden to prepare for the spring blooming season, we’ve got all the products you need to help create a safe, flourishing environment you can both enjoy.

At Direct4Pet our dog friendly garden ideas can easily be implemented, as we sell supplies needed to create a completely secure garden for your pet. From pet-friendly lawn feed to pet-safe weed killer and more, discover the products you need to help both you and your pet get the most from your garden this year.

How can I make my garden safe for pets?

Having a garden for both you and your pets to enjoy is a luxury that should not be taken for granted, however there are many important points to consider in order to create a fully secure and safe outdoor environment.

Secure your garden perimeter

First things first, you need to consider if your garden is safe for pets, and if the surrounding area is secure. Assess the perimeter of your garden to see if there are any potential access points that your animal could escape from or another animal could easily get in through. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit or guinea pig, ensuring that there are no ways they can escape or be exposed to potential harm is the important first step to creating a garden that is a safe environment for your pet to enjoy. 

A simple way to do this is to have a secure fence or wall around your garden that is tall enough to keep your animals from jumping over - but this is totally dependent on the type of pet you own. For example, if you’re looking to create a pet-friendly garden for your feline friend we would also recommend pet owners ensure that there are no objects that could help them jump up onto nearby walls. 

For smaller furry friends, such as rabbits or guinea pigs, building a large wire pen is a great way to give your animals freedom without risking their escape. Rabbits are born to dig and burrow, therefore it’s important to consistently check that they are not creating any potential escape routes in your garden and by building a secure play-pen this gives you more control of their outdoor environment.

Use raised plant beds

Raised plant beds allow you to keep your animals from getting to your plants and flowers that you’ve spent so long growing. Whether your rabbit is drawn to eating your plants or you’ve got a dog that loves to dig in soil, raised plant beds will help to prevent these behaviours and also keep them away from pesky plants that could be toxic to different animals. 

If your dog is determined to dig in your plants then we would recommend creating a designated digging space in your garden for them to explore. Dog’s are naturally intrigued by this concept and so by creating a patch of soil that they can play with will help to enrich their outdoor time and satisfy natural instincts without wreaking havoc on your plants.

Eliminate toxic plants, choose pet-safe plants instead

As we mentioned above, it’s important that pet owners consider any plants or flowers in reach are pet-safe, as this is essential to creating a pet-friendly garden. Depending on the type of pet you have will determine what plants are toxic to that specific animal - plants that are okay for rabbits to eat such as, daisies, are extremely toxic to dogs, therefore we recommend conducting your own research on what plants are toxic to your animal in order to be fully aware of any potential harm. 

For your convenience, here are a list of some of the most common plants found in gardens that are harmful to dogs specifically:

  • Onions, Garlic and Chives
  • English Ivy, Mistletoe, Foxglove
  • Daffodils, Bluebells, Tulips
  • Acorns, Conkers (horse chestnuts), Fungi
  • Tomato plants, Aloe Vera, Daisies

If you believe that your dog may have ingested any of these harmful plants it’s vital that you contact a veterinarian immediately. 

Cover any ponds or pools when not in use

While a water feature looks beautiful in a garden, especially as Spring and Summer approach, many pet owners are not aware that these features may pose a threat to your animal if left unattended. In the warmer weather, dogs, in particular, love splashing around in small bodies of water to help cool down and play, however it’s important to consider the potential risks of the water. Supervised play in and around water in your garden is a great play activity for your pet but ensure that any body of water is inaccessible if you choose to leave your pet unattended.

Use pet-safe gardening products 

Overtime, due to the nature of gardens, they are likely to require some TLC through the warmer months. If you have a pet, it’s imperative pet owners choose the right garden maintenance products that are both pet-safe and non-toxic for your furry companions. Whether you’re looking to replenish your lawn or kill some persistent weeds, we’ve got a wide selection of pet-friendly products that will help you take care of your garden, without posing as a risk to your furry friends.

Westland SafeLawn Child & Pet Friendly Lawn Feed £9.99

Westland’s SafeLawn collection is both a child and pet friendly natural lawn feed, made from a unique blend of natural ingredients that will help you to achieve a strong, healthy lawn in a natural way. This feed contains all of the essential nutrients that a lawn needs during warmer seasons to grow to its full potential, the organic nature of the product helps to improve soil structure and increase the population of beneficial microorganisms. 

This is a great solution to a patchy or worn down garden lawn that is being regularly used by pets, as it will help to encourage growth of a thicker and greener grass without the presence of any harmful chemicals. This 100% natural and safe lawn feed may see results in just 5 days and helps to prevent weeds to keep your garden in prime condition for all pets and family to enjoy.

Resolva also offers a range of pet-friendly gardening products including the best-selling Resolva Xpress 24 hour weedkiller. Designed to control and eradicate a range of persistent weeds within hours, without the presence of glyphosate, that can be harmful to pets. The Resolva Xpress formula kills weeds by direct contact action and removes any moisture from the weeds for fast, visible results that will keep weeds at bay.

Top tip to remember: Glyphosate is a chemical present in many gardening products that when ingested by dogs can create various problematic health issues such as, difficulty breathing and heart rate problems. Make sure to keep a look out for this ingredient in any products you may use in your garden!

How do I keep my dog in one part of the garden?

Keeping your dog in one part of your garden is a great way to try and protect as many of your nicely bloomed and planted areas as possible. As mentioned previously, creating a specified digging, or enrichment space for your dog can be a great way to distract them from potentially destroying the rest of your garden. 

A great way to do this is to place your dog's favourite toys, treats and food out in one corner of your garden - this will encourage them to spend more time in that part of the garden than the other areas you want to keep pet-free. Try spending time playing with them in that specific area too, that way they will start to associate fun, outdoor time with that section of your garden. Some of our best selling dog toys suitable for outdoor play include:

KONG Extreme Goodie Ribbon Large £16.49

This KONG dog toy provides hours of entertainment to keep your dog engaged in their specific area of the garden. This unique bone shape and durable rubber material helps to satisfy natural chewing instincts while providing a tasty treat that they will love. Stuff the spaces in this toy with treats to create a fun, mentally challenging puzzle for your dog. Discover even more long-lasting dog toys that can be filled with their favourite snacks, such as the Kong Wally, by browsing through our full Kong pet toys collection

The JW Hol-ee squeaker dog bone is another great toy for your dog to play with in the garden to keep them contained to one spot. This toy incorporates the fun of a squeaky tennis ball inside a bone-shaped chew toy for versatile play that keeps your dog engaged for hours. The offset balance of the toy offers a fun wobble element whilst your dog chews on the durable rubber and can also be filled with treats for even longer play time - great for teething puppies to satisfy their natural chewing needs with a fun reward at the end.

The same goes for any other pet you wish to explore the outdoors, creating their own play-area in one section of the garden is a great way to take any attention away from your beloved plants. For smaller animals like Rabbits and Guinea pigs, you can use a wired play-pen or build your own enclosed area using household materials to keep them contained to one area during their garden time.

How to stop pet urine staining my grass?

If your pet loves roaming the garden you may have noticed that your grass is suffering from unwanted brown patches, this is due to the presence of high levels of nitrogen in your pet’s urine. Nitrogen in small doses is great for your grass however in excessive amounts in one area, the nitrogen can burn through the grass, creating brown patches. 

There are many ways to prevent this from happening including, pouring water over fresh urine spots, encouraging your animal to pee in areas that are more rock-based and using specialised products such as dog rocks.

Dog Rocks Urine Patch Preventer £10.59 

Dog Rocks are a 100% natural product that helps to save your lawn from those nasty burn patches that your dog’s urine can cause. The rocks contain all natural chemicals and are placed in your dog's everyday water bowl to help filter out impurities from water such as tin, ammonia and nitrates. These impurities are usually passed out through your dog’s urine and when in contact with grass can result in a dead, yellow patch on your lawn. Dog Rocks give your four legged friend a cleaner source of water and can actually help your dog fertilise your lawn.

Keep your garden pet-friendly with Direct4Pet

With our top tips for creating a safe, pet-friendly garden and our non-toxic gardening supplies, you’re on your way to creating a luscious garden both you and your furry friends can enjoy all-year-round. Simply browse  through our full collection of garden supplies on the Direct4Pet website to all the pet-safe products you may need to keep your garden in tip top, pet-friendly shape.