Without sacrificing the aesthetic of a beautiful yard, plenty of measures can be taken to ensure the safety and happiness of your canine and feline friends. Whether they live outside or only go out a few times a day, pets deserve a safe environment regardless of the pristine landscape. 

1.  Avoid Toxic Shrubs & Chemicals!

From the herbicides you may spray on your garden to the fertilizer you use on your grass, cats and dogs are capable of absorbing that into their systems if ingested. Organic methods are the safest and have the least possibility of unsafe contact with your pets.

When considering your pets safety, you must be familiar with every plant, shrub, tree, vegetable, berry, or any other greenery they have access to. This may include your newly planted tree saplings or something that naturally occurs like wild berries or herbs.

Some toxic plants to DOGS commonly found in yards are:

  • Foxglove
  • Lenten Rose
  • Morning Glory
  • Boston Ivy
  • English Ivy
  • Lantana
  • Begonia
  • Aloe Vera
  • Mistletoe
  • Yellow Dock
  • Creeping Charlie
  • Bloodroot
  • Boxwood
  • Oak Trees
  • American Holly
  • Tulips
  • Lilies
  • Allium

Some toxic Plants to CATS commonly found in yards are:

  • Apples & Crabapples
  • Apricot
  • All parts of Cherry
  • Grapefruit
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • “Elephant Ears”
  • Aloe Vera
  • Daffodil
  • Arum, Asian, Barbados, Climbing, Calla, Cliva, Day Lillies
  • Foxglove
  • Azalea
  • Yucca
  • Dumb Cane
  • Tobacco
  • Tulips
  • Jade Plant
  • House Pines

Now, this is a small list compared to the full list of known plants toxic to common house pets, but these are an example to show that some of these may surprise you! In the case that you do have some of these plants growing where your pets run around and play, it’s recommend fencing them off in a way that deters them from contact.

2.  Raise Your Garden!

Whether you are growing famous Georgia grown tomato’s, spices, or any other delicate plants you would hate to see damaged, it is recommended to isolate them in “raised” beds of some sort. There are plenty of methods of doing so, such as using heavy pots or building a simple box frame about one foot in height.

If container gardens are not ideal for your selective vegetables or flowers, fencing them in will give the same results in protecting your plants from pets treading over those delicate buds!

3.  Make Wiring Noticeable

When staking new trees or stabilizing damaged or uniquely grown greenery, you want to avoid using thin, “invisible” wiring that a dog playing may not see right away, potentially causing injury. To prevent this from happening, use thicker and more noticeable rope or use flags and ties that emphasize the location of the rope.

4.  Fencing Your Space

If your yard where your pets play is not already fenced, but you’re worried about their surroundings or the possibility they will wander off, it is always a good idea to fence in your yard.

If you do have fencing in place, be mindful of what you may plant around your perimeter, whether it be certain bushes, your garden, etc. Your pets will run the same paths repeatedly and you wouldn’t want them carving a path straight through your garden! Recommendations for perimeter décor would be a layer on pine straw or a nice array of shrubs that will detract from any erosion your pets may cause while playing.

5.  An Animal Play-Space

Either for a last resort or a bonus for loving your pets so much, having a designated space designed for your pets is can never go wrong. This works if you want to keep a majority of your yard open to options that might not be pet friendly in your situation. The ability to fence off this area makes your pets safer as well as worry you less about where they’ve gone off to if you have a large property. Or, you just have that urge to spoil your pets with an area they will love enough to play around most often!