For many, having a pet is like having a child. As with children, you are keen on providing a healthy environment for them to live, explore, play and relax. For pets, this means their very own yard. Keep reading to learn how you can create a pet-friendly yard that is not only safe, but comfortable and inviting.
Use Pet-friendly Chemicals
The maintenance of your yard means using a variety of chemical treatments, often throughout the entire year. No matter who is performing these tasks and the application, it is key that you reiterate that your yard is used by pets. If you are doing your own yard work, be diligent about reading the ingredients and instructions in yard care chemicals.
Some chemicals may restrict animals from being in the area until it is dry, or for a specific period of time. However, many are unsafe for animals altogether, and may need to be replaced with organic alternatives. If for any reason you fear your pet has been exposed to hazardous chemicals, seek out a veterinarian immediately.
Whether you are inviting a new pet into your home, or renovating the landscaping, it is important to consider your pet’s safety while in this outdoor area. We tend to look at the beauty and function of plants, and forget that many are less than healthy for unsuspecting animals.
Speak to your landscaper about what plants to avoid, and which they would recommend. If your yard is a DIY project, do the research yourself online.
Starting with grass, select a variety that can withstand the frequent activity of your pet. To protect your flowers or garden, place them in a raised flower bed or behind decorative stones. Plants frequently found in Central Florida yards and gardens that you should avoid include angel’s trumpet, azalea and oleander. For a complete list, read the Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. This list covers the entire United States, not just Central Florida.
Provide a Digging Area for Your Dogs
Old and young, dogs love to play, and will benefit from having an open area at home to indulge their instinct. While a spacious yard provides ample space to run, give them a place to cool down with a digging area. Choose an area away from patios or any other frequently used areas, as well as plants you want to keep. Block out a small space and border it with stones ‒ or create a temporary area with a kiddie pool. Inside, line the bottom with newspapers, and lay down a decent amount of soil or sand. The depth can vary based on the breed of your pet, and its energy level.
Top off the area with leaves or mulch, but be cautious of the type of mulch. Some varieties, such as cocoa bean mulch, are toxic and can be fatal to dogs. To encourage your dog to dig or play in the space, have it watch you bury toys or treats to uncover. Repeat this often, and you are likely to create an incentive for your dog or dogs to be active. Be sure to cover it overnight to prevent cats from using the area.
Provide Fencing for a Boundary
While your pets need room to explore and play, they also need boundaries. A fence will create a limited, safe place for your pets to roam and get out any pent-up energy. Afraid it will be an eyesore? Unless your pet happens to be an escape artist, you do not have to have an eight-foot fence. You may choose to go with wood or iron at a height of about four feet, or even a beautiful white farm fence. Line it with pet-friendly plants and flowers to soften the appearance of the area. You can even include water features for pets to drink from, or an arbor under which everyone can enjoy some shade.
When you call Daniel’s Lawn Care and Pressure Washing, trust that we can create an environment comfortable and safe for you and your pets. With proper landscaping and maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful yard year ‘round. Contact us today to learn about our services or schedule an appointment.