8 Tips for Creating a Pet-Friendly Backyard

With the weather getting warmer, nothing beats spending time in the yard with family and friends, including your four-legged ones! Here are some ideas to make sure your outdoor space is both safe and welcoming for your pets.


1. Check out the ASPCA’s comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants before heading to the garden center to buy those flats of spring flowers.


2. Pesticides and herbicides can be toxic to pets, especially weed killers containing a substance called 2,4-D. Consider using products with natural, plant-based ingredients that are safe for pets.


3. Many fertilizers contain blood, bone, and fish meal which can be appealing to dogs and cats, but cause serious gastrointestinal problems when eaten. Keep fertilizers away from pets.


4. Observe your dog’s usual routes around the yard and adjust landscaping so that there are cleared pathways and no delicate flower beds or muddy areas in his regular path.


5. Keep coyotes out of your yard by making sure there are no tempting food sources lying around. These include uncovered compost piles and garbage bins, fallen fruit and birdseed, and uncovered barbeque grills.


6. Make sure landscaping elements take your pet’s comfort into account. Choose soft mulch over rough gravel for groundcover in non-grassy areas. Soft spots should also have some shade cover to provide relief on hot sunny days.


7. Train your dog to use a “go spot” to relieve herself in one particular area of the yard to avoid a yard full of brown dog spots on the grass. You can also set up a designated “marking post” for male dogs so they will not mark things like flower pots and statues.


8. Keep your pets away from hot barbeque grills and make sure they do not eat bones, toxic vegetables like garlic and onion, or lick up gravel or mulch along with grill drippings.


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  • Aaron Seminoff
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