Your backyard is an important part of your home, and you may have already started thinking about adding some greenery to it, but with all the gardening tips, it can be hard to decide what plants make sense in your space. The same goes for outdoor pets like dogs or cats and how they interact with their new environment. If you want to keep them safe and ensure they don’t get into trouble or cause damage, here are six tips to consider when designing your backyard and pet-proofing it for comfort and safety.
1. Avoid Toxic Plants
A great way to help keep your pet both happy and healthy is by choosing plants that are not toxic. Some common non-toxic options include flowers such as pansies and roses, fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and onions, herbs such as basil and thyme, and many more. This could also work if you prefer to plant a mixture of different types of plants (like using perennials in conjunction with annuals). However, if you want to focus on one type of plant to give off a certain scent or feel, then choose that and see how it works.
2. Put the Tools Away
If you live near power lines or other high voltage overhead power lines – especially if you have kids or animals who love climbing things – then be sure to put away any tools that come in contact with these lines. This includes electric saws, hedge trimmers, and any other similar equipment. Doing so will lessen the chance of anyone being injured or electrocuted.
3. Think Twice About Insecticides
Some folks find themselves attracted to killing bugs for good, but unfortunately, insecticides aren’t always the best option. They can prove harmful for humans and animals alike, so people often resort to applying them instead of finding natural alternatives. For example, natural bug repellents such as citronella candles or sprays can work wonders. You might even opt for a natural alternative to pesticides, like pyrethrum, which kills insects through suffocation rather than poisoning them.
4. Keep Compost Out of Reach
One of the biggest issues around compost piles is keeping children and pets from reaching into them. Compost bins should be placed at least three feet above ground level to prevent accidental injury due to someone jumping or falling. Ensure that the lid remains firmly secured shut at all times, making sure nobody accidentally opens it during playtime. And while having a pile means that you’re getting free organic matter for your garden, it doesn’t mean it’s good for your family’s health. So, avoid putting it too close to where animals can access it.
5. Pick Safe Mulch
If your yard has bare soil in areas prone to erosion, you’ll need mulch to protect the area beneath it. This will add nutrients to the soil and act as a barrier against water runoff. But, before you go picking up mulch, remember the dangers associated with it. It may seem appealing to use wood chips or shredded paper, but it causes serious problems if used improperly.
6. Reduce Flea and Tick Hiding Spots
Fleas and ticks are two of the most common pests found outdoors, which can cause a major nuisance when left unchecked. To ensure that your pets stay safe and protected when camping or visiting friends outdoors, reduce the number of hiding spots for fleas and ticks. Remove old clothes, rugs, furniture, and bedding, and wash hands thoroughly after returning home.