Bringing home a new pet is a great way to add the ‘finishing touch’ to your family: a bundle of love, joy and optimism. Unlike most new home fixtures and fittings, though, your cat, dog or bunny comes with a mind of its own – and is not designed to slot in perfectly with your existing décor.
If you want things to go smoothly, a bit of give and take is needed on both sides – you may need to compromise the layout of your garden to make it pet-safe, but you can also ‘negotiate’ with your furry friend to come to a mutual understanding.
The ‘carrot’ part of this carrot/stick transaction requires creating an area of the garden that is specifically for your pet to occupy – a play area and/or pet house of their own. In the case of the play area, a small, shallow sandpit filled with toys should keep your hound away from your prized lawn. A pet house is more of an all-weather solution, and should be 25% longer and wider than your animal so as to give them enough room to turn around.
The ‘stick’ element is not as cruel as it sounds. A handful of wooden stakes and some chicken wire can be used to create a cheap, safe fence around your vegetable patch or flowerbed, leaving your pets clear about where they’re not to go. Wire like this can easily be rolled back if you need access to maintain the patch – but don’t forget to ensure your plants* and fertilizers are pet friendly (non-toxic) just in case. A paved pathway through the garden will also help to reduce the danger and the mess elements of keeping a pet in the garden.
For more tips on how to pet proof your garden and balance your dream garden with your dream pet, be sure to check out this infographic – with everything you need to keep all parties safe, happy, and co-operative.
How to Pet-Proof Your Garden – An infographic by HomeAdvisor
*consult your vet for a comprehensive list of plants that are harmful to your pets.