How to Tailor Your Yard for Pet (and Garden) Safety

Pets and yards can have trouble getting along. It's more than just the classic example of a dog having free rein to dig where he lies. Certain landscaping materials, if incorrectly chosen, have the potential to hurt your pet or make him sick. Since even indoor animals need some time outside once in a while, here are some ways to keep your pet and your yard in happy harmony, without jeopardizing them both.

  1. Walkways make of fine beach pebbles and gravel are great for pets as well as humans. For dogs, the smaller, even pebbles feel better against their paws. By blocking off forbidden areas with large and uneven stones, this can train a pet to rely on the walkways to move about the yard.

  2. For even more insurance, use fences and barrier plants. Even a smaller fence can be enough of a barrier for a dog, while still looking attractive. Just make sure he or she can't jump over, and that they can't poke their head between the bars. Larger barrier plants can do the job while adding a wild, natural feel to your landscape. Just don't use plants with thorns to deter pets - that's just asking for trouble.

  3. If you own a cat, make sure the plants you use are safe for them to chew. Cats like to gnaw on plants, and certain types of flowers like lilies and tulips, and even the leaves of growing vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes, are toxic to them. Mint is a good alternative if your cat frequents the yard often. Always double-check your plant choices with an expert.

  4. Wet ground (through an irrigation system or otherwise) can prevent cats from crossing into certain territory. To discourage digging in gardens, raise the garden up. Since dogs prefer to bend over to dig, the uncomfortable position will encourage him to seek an easier target.

For more tips and advice on adjusting your yard to accommodate your pets, come to YardCo. We've been working with pet owners to improve their yards for over 25 years. Plus, we have the right materials, such as beach pebbles, river rock, and other landscaping stone, that'll best fit all your garden and landscaping needs