Since the weather is starting to warm up, many of us are spending more time in our gardens and perhaps becoming a little green fingered!
And if we’re spending more time in the gardens, so are our 4 legged friends. This means that you’ll want to involve them in as many outdoor activities as possible. So how can you ensure that you’re not only gardening with your dog safety, but that your garden is as dog friendly as it can be?
Here’s 8 Tips for Gardening with Your Dog:
Provide Water, Shade and Shelter
It’s easy for your dog to overheat, especially in the warmer months. So it’s important to ensure they have easy access to clean drinking water.
Put their water bowl in a shaded area of the garden to try and encourage them to lay down and rest in a more sheltered spot away from the sun.
Build a Fence
If there’s an area of your garden that your dog won’t stop digging, eating or toileting on, despite being told not too, consider building a small fence. It doesn’t have to be anything that screams NO GO ZONE.
A simple small picket fence the height of your dog will deter them from entering the area.
Avoid Using Pesticides and Chemicals
Pesticides such as sprays and slug pellets can be extremely harmful to your dog if ingested. Liquid weed killers are especially dangers as your dog could walk across the treated area without your knowing and ingest the chemical from cleaning their paws minutes later. Homemade, natural options are a much safer and cheaper way to ensure your garden is weed free, pest free and pet friendly.
These include solutions such as vinegar and salt, garlic and chilli powder and your regular washing up liquid.
If your dog is trying to be a little ‘too helpful’ whilst you’re arranging your new flower bed. Why not distract them with some home made enrichment games? See our blog post on ‘9 Ways to Keep Your Dog Entertained Whilst Working From Home’ for some rather pawsome DIY treats and toys.
Dog Friendly Mulch
If you use mulch to help retain water, suppress weeds or simply make your garden bed look more attractive, be aware of the type you’re using. Some mulch’s can contain pine needles and sharp cuts of wood that can cause external and internal damage if ingested.
Leaf or bark mulch is a safer alternative, but if your dog can’t resist a nibble you may want to block off mulch areas with barrier plants (listed below) or a small fence.
If your dog has a particular fondness for some of your plants, or they like to run through your flower bed when ‘Zoomies Mode’ is activated, barrier plants are a great way to protect your more delicate plants, flowers or veg patch.
Fragrant, thick and tough (but also pet friendly) bushes and conifers are a great preventative to stop your pup chomping on your Gerber's.
Avoid Toxic Plants
With the weather warming up, many of us are becoming more green fingered. But unfortunately many plants are toxic to dogs if ingested. The list is extensive but if you do find that there you already have some non pet-friendly plants in your garden, try to move them to an area your dog cannot reach or create a barrier so your dog can’t get to them.
Dog Wee Solutions
Dog’s urine is bad for plants and grass as it contains high levels of nitrogen and alkaline salts which can wither plants and damage roots. The best way to prevent this is to try and create a designated area for your dog to go to the toilet. This area should be clear of plants (to avoid confusion as to where to toilet) and have a layer of gravel for easy drainage.
If you’re unable to create such an area, fencing (or using hedging) to create a barrier around your plants will help prevent your dog from damaging the plants.
If you suspect your dog has ingested a plant or pesticide in the garden and is showing signs of illness, don’t hesitate to take them to the vet. Keep safe and happy gardening.