A wonderfully landscaped backyard is a beautiful sight to see.. until you have certain pets who enjoy adapting it for their OWN personal use, and leave destruction in their wake. Digging, trampling and urinating can cause all kinds of issues and spell disaster for plants trying to thrive. Below, we’ve gathered some tips and advice for common pesky pet problems:
1. The trail blazer.
Dogs especially enjoy forming their own paths through your backyard, which may result in worn down lawn and unattractive bare gaps in garden beds. The best way to get around this problem is to consider a garden layout with plants clumped together – Dogs are more likely to divert around clear obstacles, so shrubs and trees presented together are less likely to be knocked aside. Look for plants that are well established and roll out turf options – This isn’t the place for seedlings or smaller options that require softer handling! Establishing paths with pavers or gravel means your four legged friends may stick to the route you’ve established for everyone, rather than discover their own. Landscaping with multiple levels not only looks modern, but also works well to prevent pets from going where they shouldn’t.
2. The digger.
Digging is an instinct for dogs, and can be managed firstly with some behaviour changes. Make sure your pet has lots of toys and is not digging out of boredom. Bare soil and dirt areas are very attractive for diggers, so consider gravel or mulches to fill in gaps that may appeal. For those trickier diggers, why not create a positive place for digging, such as a designated corner of the yard, or even a shell filled with sand? Raised garden beds can help fend off the Digger and the Trail Blazer alike, especially if wired off for a few weeks.
3. The Lounger.
Cats and dogs will seek out cool shady spots for summer, and the perfect sun spot for the cooler months. If you wish to keep your pet out of your garden, make sure you are accommodating these needs accordingly – Look at raised beds with air flow for your dog, and designate it a shady area where they can relax during the heat with leafy deciduous trees. A dry spot with protection from the wind will help keep them cosy during the winter months, ideally a veranda or dog kennel.
Cats are usually less easy to tame in this regard, so ensure you are at least preventing any issues for them by avoiding plants like lilies and nightshade which are poisonous, and consider placing straw mulch in beds that are Cat Approved – the heat is very attractive for outdoor felines to curl up upon.
4. The Marker
Urinating can cause unsightly burns on grass and ironically, no tree likes to be marked either! Choosing coastal breeds like olive trees ensures a tree that adapts well to the habits of the frequent marker, though products on the market, such as Dog Rocks, can also be used to prevent burn marks by filtering out nasties in your dogs water bowl.
Pets and beautiful gardens need not be mutually exclusive – Time, practice, and the right plants and planting can all create a perfect environment for everybody to enjoy.