Creating a Pet-Friendly Garden

Many pet lovers fear that they must choose one or the other. A beautiful garden or their pets. With proper forward planning and a little know-how, this need not be the case. You can create a fantastic garden that can be enjoyed by both you and your furry friends.

Go With the Flow

Monitor your pet’s behavior in the garden and go with it. If there are areas they like to run on, keep it clear for them to do so. Create corridors along their current tracks, with hardy shrubs on either side. If you have a dog that enjoys digging, create a designated area for it. This can be hidden with tall grasses.


Try to avoid gravel if you have cats, who may mistake it for a litter box. Wood chips, paving stones and brick paths are great for keeping your pet’s feet clean. A fence is the best way to keep dogs inside your garden. Consider making a window in the fence, allowing your dog to rub noses with passing friends.


There will be some areas you’ll want to prevent your pets from entering. This will come down to training, mostly, but strategically placed prickly shrubs, boulders and hedges can do the trick. If you plan to grow your own crops, use raised beds, edged with preventative plants.

Pet Friendly Areas

Animals value their territory. Provide specific areas, such as a cattery. Include hardy, urine resistant plants such as Spirea shrubs. For cats, large flat rocks will allow them to enjoy the sun, while long grasses will tend to their hunting instincts. Sheltered shelves and scratch posts are also a great idea. A source of running water will benefit both cats and dogs, but stray away from ponds.

Select Your Plants Wisely

Avoid the following plants, which can be toxic to cats and dogs.

  • White lilies;
  • Foxgloves;
  • Azaleas;
  • The onion family;
  • Potatoes;
  • Tomatoes;
  • Certain fruit trees.

There is a far more extensive list and it is essential you check it out before planting! Finally, use only organic pest control methods in your garden.

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