How to Have a Pet Friendly Yard? PDF Print E-mail

How to Have a Pet Friendly Yard? It is estimated that about 30 percent of all Canadians own a pet and most if not all of them consider that pet to be part of their family; this means the pet is present when the family dines outside picnic style or the family is out running errands in the car, typically the dog is right there with them.

A pet friendly lawn is a ‘must-have’ especially for dogs that frequently uses the backyard for their potty. A good idea is to train the dog or puppy from the day they arrive to go in a certain area of the yard to do their ‘business.’ This could be a corner of the yard near the back of the fence or behind some shrubs. The area should be easily accessible and easy to clean – dirt and gravel work best. Teaching the dog to jump over short shrubs is not only a good idea, but also entertaining for both dog owner and the dog.

Smaller dogs, and even cats, could benefit from ‘runs’ which are fenced ‘gates’ or like playpens for animals only they have a fence on the top as well. Some of these runs are made with a concrete bottom for easy clean up while other simply set on the grass. Used in combination with a dog door would allow your indoor cat the freedom to explore the outdoors without fear of running off or getting hurt. A fenced pen or run placed under a window with a small dog door installed in it makes the prefect escape for Miss Kitty. One could even plant some catnip plants in the enclosed area for the cats ultimate enjoyment.

Medium and larger size dogs would benefit from a fenced-in back yard in which they could run freely without the constraints of a chain. Beware of ‘invisible fencing’ because once a dog breaks loose – runs over the fencing – after another dog or squirrel, then they will be prone to do it again and again, regardless of the consequences. Some underground fences state on the box that supervision should be considered but this defeats the purpose of having a fence in the first place.

When considering landscaping choices and your pet, choose with your pet in mind because chances our, the pet will be spending more time outdoors then the family will.

Use hardscape materials that offer low maintenance and a contemporary alternative to grass for high traffic areas – choose from etched concrete, bricks, crushed stone mulch or flagstone. Use green alternatives or sturdier grasses. Grasses such as Bermuda or Kentucky Bluegrass hold up to foot or paw traffic fairly well. For an alternative, try clover lawns which do not stain from dog urine the way other grasses do.

Create decorative yet functional barriers to keep pets away from delicate foliage. Wire will stop a dog from tearing at a sensitive tree trunk while small fencing should protect flower beds.

Find your dogs natural pathways and avoid moving them for dogs are territorial. Use paver blocks or other hardscape materials and leave gravel near the fence.