How to create a dog-friendly garden

Exteriors, General

Dogs love to spend time in the fresh air, but some British gardens are putting them at risk. With broken fences, poisonous plants and pest control chemicals among the dangers dogs face, we take a look at how to create a safe haven for your canine companion.How to create a dog friendly garden

Secure your garden

Dogs are often targeted by thieves, so it makes sense to invest in good quality garden fencing, as this will improve security and stop your pooch from escaping. Don’t scrimp on height though, as determined dogs won’t be put off by a five-foot fence!How to create a dog friendly garden

If your dog’s a digger, we suggest sinking your fence a couple of feet into the ground or lining the internal circumference of the fence with paving slabs. Any gap at the base of a fence can encourage even an unadventurous dog to start digging.

The humble garden gate is another escape route that tends to be overlooked, but did you know that you can prevent your gate from being accidentally left open by installing a simple gate spring?

Once you’ve secured your garden, you can reduce your dog’s interest in the outside world by offering regular exercise and mental stimulation. Give him opportunities to explore new places and your pooch will be perfectly content to laze about in the garden.

Use pet safe pest control

Slug pellets might get rid of unwanted garden pests, but they could also make your pooch very poorly. This is because many pellets contain metaldehyde, which is toxic to dogs.How to create a dog friendly garden

Fortunately, most garden centres now sell pooch-friendly pellets containing iron phosphate. Alternatively, you could try spraying any weeds with weak beer, as this will attract slugs and snails away from your favourite plant.

To keep your canine fully protected from slithering invaders, you should also avoid leaving any toys or drinking bowls in the garden overnight. Dogs can contract lungworm simply by drinking from a bowl where a snail or slug has been or by carrying a toy that they have crawled into.

Avoid Poisonous plants

Many common garden plants are incredibly toxic for dogs, so we recommend getting to know your borders. Thankfully, there’s plenty of helpful advice available online, including this list of poisonous plants from the Dogs Trust.How to create a dog friendly garden

Eating a toxic plant could result in a number of symptoms, including an upset tummy, dilated pupils, breathing difficulties and a slow heart rate. More serious effects include paralysis, coma and even death.

It is of course perfectly possible to create a beautiful garden that is also safe for your four-legged friend. Simply identify any toxic plants and grow them out of reach, or replace them with a safe alternative. For example, the leaves of tomato plants are particularly poisonous for dogs, so why not protect your pooch by growing tomatoes in suspended pots?

Do you have any tips for creating a dog-friendly garden? We’d love to know your ideas, so share them below!

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