Spring is the ideal time to spruce up your garden after a gloomy winter. It is also your chance to garden with your pets in mind, so you can have a pet-friendly space all year round.
The team at Clent Hills Vets in Hagley have collated some important ideas below to help Worcestershire pet owners make their garden a safe space for their four-legged friends. With our no-fuss guide, you can pet-proof your garden and keep your dogs, cats, or rabbits happy and healthy all year long.
Plants are an integral part of many gardens but some can be harmful, even deadly. Our Hagley Vets have also put together this helpful guide to highlight the signs to look out for, what to do if you suspect poisoning, and common toxic plants. You can download our guide here:
Get our Poisonous Plant Guide
Pet-proofing your garden is mostly about making it safe for exploration. Look at your garden as a whole and imagine your pet exploring it. Remember, animals are curious and mostly led by smell, so if your dog, cat, or rabbit can physically reach somewhere, it is not ‘off limits’ to them.
Below is a comprehensive list of ways to make your garden safe. Adopting these strategies to pet-proof your garden now will make life easier later and ensure your pets have a safe outdoor space to enjoy all year long.
How to pet proof your garden
Clent Hills’ team suggests your to-do-list should include:
Pet proof your garden fence and fix any gaps in boundaries where your pet could escape through
- Get rid of broken bottles, sharp stones, and other obvious hazards
- Tidy away tools and anything you do not want your pet ‘playing’ with or nibbling
- Relocate or reorganise piles of bricks or wood so they can’t topple over
- Make places your pet could get trapped inside or under inaccessible and close shed doors
- Fence off areas your pet could fall from and any bodies of water
- Put harmful substances on high shelves and behind cupboard doors
Choose pet-safe plants and remove toxic plants for pets – remember that parts of plants can be spread throughout your garden by wildlife and wind.
- Remove/relocate bulbs that could harm pets – cover soil in netting so pets can’t dig them up
- Grow vegetables in raised beds – put netting over to keep out curious paws and noses
- Only use pet-safe products to repel insects, slugs, and snails
- Don’t leave pet bowls and toys out overnight - slugs/snails can cause lungworm in dogs
Lawns: beware as grass seeds can get lodged in eyes and cut grass is toxic when eaten.
- Clean up any animal faeces (not just your pet’s) to avoid your pet eating it and becoming unwell or potentially contracting worms
- Remember that wildlife frequents your garden too and may drop food that contains bones, raw meat, raisons, or other toxic ingredients - check your garden before letting your pet out
And finally, monitor your pet’s time outside. Senior Vet Dom Thompson, cannot stress this enough - accidents and escape attempts can happen fast.
If you have followed this list, your garden should be a safe and happy place for your pet to hang out in. You could go a step further by creating dedicated areas in your garden for digging, playing, relaxing, and toileting of course, maybe even connected by a pet-friendly garden path. This creates a harmonious outdoor space that works for you and your pets.
Remember to download our Pet Plant Poisons Guide below. Also, why not share our article on pet-proofing your garden with your pet-loving friends and family on Facebook or email?
Download our Poisons Guide