April 16, 2024 4 min read

We love our pets and we love our plants, but it can be tricky to have them both in the same space. Many plants can be toxic to our pets and our pets can damage the plants we grow. Is it possible to have them both without harming either one? Yes! You can make a pet-safe garden to enjoy your plants and your furry friend at the same time. We’ve gathered up some ideas to start making your garden accessible to you and your pet so you can enjoy warm days in the sun without any worry.


1. Avoid Toxic Plants

To start your pet-safe garden, you’ll want to pick out the plants you want to grow. Make sure to remove any toxic plants that might already be in your yard. You’ll want to dig those out completely, so they do not regrow. Many common plants and flowers can be harmful and potentially fatal to your pet, so be sure to do your research before making any decisions. For a full list of toxic and non-toxic plants, check out the ASPCA’s full list here.


2. Use Pet-Safe Sprays For Plants

In addition to keeping your plant choices pet-friendly, you’ll want to rethink your use of garden sprays. Pets can roll around in the yard and then lick the toxic chemicals off themselves. Take some time to find a pet-friendly alternative to common insecticides.


3. Keep Your Pet Safe From Pests

You’ll also want to make sure you minimize the risk of fleas and ticks by keeping the grass mowed, leaves raked, and keeping your garden away from wooded areas. This will ensure that your garden doesn't attract unwanted visitors for you and your pet. Keeping your pet up-to-date on their flea and tick prevention is also important if they will be spending any time outdoors.


4. Protect Your Plants From Your Pet

Even though your garden is pet-safe, you may not want your pet to have access to the plants you're growing. To protect your plants, it might be a good idea to start with a mature starter plant. This way if your pet bumps into the plant, it will not be as damaged as a baby plant. Fencing and raised beds can help keep your plants away from your pet as well.

Creating boundaries in your garden will also help to prevent your pet from venturing into areas they shouldn’t. You can create boundaries by using physical fences or barriers to block off your garden.


5. Train Your Pet To Stay Away From Your Plants 

You can also train your pet to keep away from certain areas in your yard. A combination of physical barriers and training will be the best way to keep your pets and plants separate in the same space. To help your pet keep track of the boundaries of the garden, you can make paths for you and your pet to travel through when you walk through your garden. Having a designated path for your pet to travel on will help to prevent them from running through your garden beds. If you decide to make a path, be sure to use material that is good for your furry friend's paws. You don’t want to make it from small materials that may get stuck in them, and you should avoid material that may irritate their skin. Avoid materials that may get too hot during the warmer months.


6. Set Up Designated Spots For Sunbathing

Just like the plants in your garden, your pet also needs sunlight and shade. Set up designated sunbathing spots for your pet to soak up some rays, and shade spots to cool down from the heat. A pergola or a doghouse will provide shelter and shade for them when they spend time outside. Make sure these areas are away from the rest of your plants, so your pet does not get into the habit of sleeping in your plants.


7. Create A Designated Play Area

While you want to make sure your plants have their space to grow, you also need to make sure your pet has their space to play outside. They need space to run and play, and to go to the bathroom. If you just let them roam, they may decide to play or dig in your garden. Giving your pet designated spots, and teaching them to use those spots, will help save your garden from unwanted digging or trampling. A nice open area for playing and a specific spot for digging will keep your pet out of your flower beds. Training your pet to go to the bathroom in a specific area will keep them out of your garden. Make sure all the pet spots are easily accessible to them and that the garden areas are out of their way. This will prevent accidental trampling from occurring.

It is possible to have your plants and your pet coexist, you just need to take some precautions when setting up your garden. Be sure to do research on what plants are pet-safe and what should be avoided. With a little hard work, you can protect your plants and your pet and enjoy the outdoors with both of them.

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