How to make a pet friendly garden

Spring is the perfect time to plan your garden – we have some tips to help you make it fun for you and your pets.

Pet-friendly gardens for cats

  • Begin with the area by your door or cat flap: is there space for a bolt hole?
  • Cats like to feel they can run for cover so plant pots or small shrubs are perfect.
  • Cats enjoy climbing and high spots where they can survey their territory. Logs or trees with open growth are perfect for climbing, scratching and conditioning claws.
  • To encourage your cat to toilet outside, find a sheltered space to put in some loose, non-toxic sand.
  • Create a mix of sun spots for your cat to relax in and shelter from the midday sun.
  • Take note of which plants may be poisonous to your cat

Pet-friendly gardens for dogs

  • Dogs love gardens – most of all, they like you to be in the garden with them!
  • Grassy areas are ideal for scattering food, retrieving toys and games of tug. Try to avoid gravel areas; it’s hard on paws and hot in the summer.
  • For dogs who love digging, add a sandpit to give them space for their fun without destroying the flowerbed – stay with them and teach your dog the rules!
  • Poisonous plants can be a worry, especially for puppies and young dogs. Take note of which plants may be poisonous to your dog
  • Supervision and distraction using a toy is the golden rule.

Pet-friendly gardens for small pets

  • Small pets love tasty treats from your vegetable patch but make sure you follow our diet guide: see our tips on feeding rabbits and guinea pigs.
  • Blackberry bramble leaves are superb for keeping their digestive systems healthy. For guinea pigs, pick and scatter the leaves. Rabbits enjoy a whole strip of bramble, including the thorns.
  • Recycle your plastic plant pots – stuff them with hay and fresh picked forage, perfect for rabbits and guinea pigs to browse.
  • Tunnels, cardboard boxes, trays filled with soil/play sand and large willow or apple tree logs make perfect enrichment for their run, especially rabbits.
  • Guinea pigs enjoy piles of fluffy hay and hides to run between and shelter.
  • Take note of which plants may be poisonous to your small pets, rabbits or guinea pigs.

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