How to Make a Dog-Friendly Garden
Gardens and dogs are two of the most popular topics at the moment, but mixing the two can often be a challenge. Whether you’re bringing a dog into an existing garden or moving to a new house, it’s crucial to create a safe dog friendly environment for your four-footed friend.
Many people give little to no thought to their garden when they get a dog. However, it’s important that you analyse your garden carefully as there are plenty of hidden dangers for your new puppy! Start to make a list of the potential dangers that could affect your new arrival.
Perhaps the most significant on the list is to dog-proof your garden so that your dog can’t just take themselves off to explore. Busy roads and traffic can be lethal and your dog will need to be contained properly which means ensuring that the garden space is safe and escape-proof.
Next, ask yourself how high your breed can jump when fully grown and make sure that your hedges or fencing can cope with it. If you don’t want to go to the expense of replacing all your garden fencing then at least invest in some good dog run panels to make a smaller safe compound. If you can’t make your whole garden safe then at least try to segregate an area to ensure that there is at least one part of garden that they can enjoy.
Once your garden is safe, take some time to study the different plants that you have as some can be highly toxic if consumed. Plants like daffodil, daphne, foxglove, hydrangea and yew are all quite dangerous if ingested. Tulips, lillies, rhododendrons and azaleas are other plants that should be off your gardening list.
Instead, try to plant safe varieties such as roses, lavender, viburnum, grasses, sunflowers and many of the edible herbs like mint and thyme. Alternatively, flowering plants like petunias and zinnias are great for a splash of colour and are completely safe if eaten.
Avoid as many really spiky plants as possible as this can damage dogs’ eyes and tear their skin as they race around at top speed. Make sure you deal with slugs and snails as these too can be dangerous if eaten.
Sheds are full of dangerous chemicals and sharp tools as well, so make sure that your shed is always locked and that anything hazardous is stored high up and safely away from your pet.
If you have a pond, most dogs will be attracted to it so it’s a good idea to fence this off to prevent them from drinking the stagnant water or swimming in it. This also has the added benefit of ensuring that young children don’t get up to mischief in there as well.
Compost bins are full of decomposing matter and lots of harmful bacteria so it’s always a good idea to make sure that this is secured so your dog can’t access it.
Not only can your garden be a danger to your dog, but your dog can be a danger to your garden! Most people dream about having a patch of lush green lawn to enjoy, but think again as dogs will undoubtedly test your lawn to the limit as they run around, dig holes, leave their droppings, and urinate all over it! Your hopes of having a perfect show lawn can be shattered in a matter of days so make sure that you have accepted this reality.
Dogs’ urine can be very strong and soon your lawn may be speckled with large brown unsightly patches. Fortunately, there are products out there like Dog Rocks that can be added to their water bowls to neutralise their urine and prevent this issue.
All gardens need trees as they look fantastic at so many different times of the year. Trees can also provide essential shade which every dog needs during those hot summer days. Make sure that you know where the sun rises and sets in your garden, and if your trees won’t provide adequate shade then you could plant some in a different spot to protect your dog from the harmful sun.
If you have oak trees or horse-chestnut trees, be extra careful as in the autumn the acorns and conkers can be toxic so be sure to regularly go out and collect these up.
Insects can be a real problem for pets, particularly bees and wasps as dogs especially just love to catch them in their mouths. If your dog gets stung in the mouth the subsequent swelling can close your dog’s throat and block their airways. Be vigilant and look out for any allergic reactions that may require you to contact the vet urgently.
Whether it’s an insect or a plant, you need to be aware of some symptoms that your dog might experience if they ingest something harmful in the garden. These can vary but the most common ones to be aware of are as follows:
Certainly, a combination of any of the above could be a signal that you should seek urgent veterinary care. If you think you know what your dog has eaten remember to take a sample of this with you to show your vet.
Gardens are fabulous spaces for dogs to enjoy, so try to be aware of the dangers and remove as many harmful situations as possible. Once this is taken care of, you can sit back and enjoy what will hopefully be a great British summer in your safe dog friendly garden!
Easyanimal.co.uk sell a wide range of dog run panels and outdoor dog kennels which would look great in any garden and will keep your dogs and puppies safe and secure. Please email us to see how our team can help you on firstname.lastname@example.org