Landscaping with Pets in Mind

Donna Fossum

Gardeners take great pride in creating beautiful, functional landscapes. Some extend their indoor living space into the garden. Others create outdoor spaces for entertaining, playing, meditating or, just simply to have something to admire. But, do these spaces take Fido or Fluffy’s needs into consideration? Dogs and cats can have a certain sense of entitlement over their outdoor space that may clash with your sense of ownership. To maintain a happy household, consider your pet’s outdoor needs when creating your garden.

  • Is Fido fond of the fence line? Some dogs are fierce protectors of their territory, trampling beds or shrubs along your fence line. Construct a permanent pathway along the fence that’s functional for all.
  • Does your dog dig? To keep Fido from digging up your plants, try chicken wire just beneath the mulched surface.
  • Is Fluffy confusing your flower beds for a litter box? Line the edges of flower beds with moth balls; the strong smell should keep cats away and dogs, too. Just remember, moth balls are poisonous.

Always consider the consequences of your actions, intended or otherwise. Use plants and products that are safe for you and your pets, and always read the labels and warnings on every product. Even if a product is natural, it can still be harmful. Also, be aware of which plants are poisonous to pets.

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