Hanford Veterinary Hospital Blog
Spring into Spring with a Pet Friendly Yard
Those of us lucky enough to be in the first stages of spring are understandably excited. More outdoor time, gardening, and spending time with our pets in our yards are only a few of the fun things that come to mind with warmer weather.
Hanford Veterinary Hospital thought you might like to have a few ideas for pet friendly yards, and some safety options to consider as you bring your yard and garden back from winter slumber.
Ideas for Pet Friendly Yards
Fence it – One of the most important aspects of a pet friendly and safe yard is a fence! Dogs love to run and play, but they also need boundaries. Many fences are easy to install, such as chain link, and other options offer safety to your pet friends while staying within your yard style. Consider posts and wire, sleek horizontal boards, or picket fences, based on your preference.
Create a place to play – You may have heard the old adage, “a tired dog is a good dog”. Give your dog plenty of places to play and exercise in your yard, and you’ll have one good dog. If you have the room, dogs will really thrive with a play area where they can stretch their legs, run, and also relax. If your dog enjoys it, you might also consider a play course, with agility options like a tunnel, a balance beam, or even plants that create a natural obstacle!
Pet friendly landscaping – When choosing landscaping materials, think of comfort for your pets. Mulch is a great landscaping option, since it’s soft on paws and comfortable to lie on. When choosing plants and ornamentals for your yard, it’s surprising (and somewhat alarming) how many plants could be toxic for your pets if they were to ingest them. You’ll want to keep an eye on poisonous plants and steer clear of them. Be aware, too, that some fertilizers and mulches, such as cocoa, contain ingredients that might be toxic to your pet.
Water, please – What dog doesn’t love to play in water? Give your yard a water feature that your pet can access, such as a splash fountain or a stream. Your cat may enjoy a pond to watch, too, especially if there are fish. As with any water, make sure you never leave pets unattended, and if possible, structure your pond with a sloping side that will allow a pet to escape if they mistakenly fall in.
Shade and shelter – Dogs and cats love to bask in the sun, and they’ll enjoy having a spot where they can sunbathe. However, make sure they can also cool off when they need to by providing ready access to shade. Trees go a long way to providing this, but if trees aren’t possible, consider a sun shade or a pergola.
The catios have it – Have you heard of catios yet? The newest cat friendly yard feature is your cat’s own patio, or catio, that keeps them safe outside, but lets them bask in the glories of the outdoors. There are many options, from DIY window boxes, to full outdoor enclosures. The possibilities are endless!
Keep an eye out for trouble spots, such as broken fence boards, and walk the perimeter of your yard frequently, watching for safety hazards down at their level. Keep garden sheds closed and any fertilizers or chemicals far away from your pet’s reach. It’s always smart to keep our phone number, as well as the ASPCA Pet Poison Control Hotline number, on your refrigerator, in case your pet gets into something they shouldn’t.
If you have any questions, or if you have a great new idea for pet friendly yards, let us know!