How to protect your garden from your pets?

How to protect your garden from your pets?

Dogs and cats in your garden do not have to be fatal to your lawn and flowerbeds. There are various ways of preventing your pet from demolishing your garden. Let us elaborate on some of them!

Your dog keeps romping around in your flowerbeds or marks your conifers with urine? Your cat has decided that the recently planted bed is a perfect litter box? Fortunately, there are many ways to cope with that. One of the principles is observing the pet’s habits and making the garden a pet-friendly place. Next, you need to discourage your pets from entering the areas where plants grow. How to stop your dog or cat from undesirable behaviours?

A dog-proof garden – is it possible?

If you are only just designing your garden, the task is easy. In that case, delimit the areas, where the dog is most likely to roam and try to plant it with flora which is resistant to dog urine. If your dog is to enter an established garden, you can still adjust it to the pet’s needs and secure the places you do not want it to go into. Remember that the larger the dog, the more space it needs. Introducing a large energetic dog into a miniature garden is not a very good idea, unless you take it out for regular long walks, during which the pet can let off steam.

Dogs will usually try to stand guard by the fence of the garden. The edges of the garden should hence comprise a suitable pathway for the dog. It is thus advisable to resist planting anything in those areas, as it is virtually impossible to convince your pet to repress this natural behaviour. The pathway should be at least one-metre in width. It is worthwhile, however, hedging it with conifers or other suitable plants.

While racing through the lawn, the dog may tramp down the less resilient kinds of grass, so it is advisable to choose reinforced grass dedicated specifically for lawns or sport grounds. What is more difficult, is to deal with dog urine. In low concentrations, it may work as fertilizer (as it contains nitrogen); however, high concentration of urine might destroy your lawn. One of the possible solutions is to…walk your dog more often outside of the garden and teach it to ‘do their business’ only during the walks. You can also teach it to go potty in one specific place of the garden. It may, moreover, help to set up an automatic grass sprinkler – water will dissolve the urea and minimise its negative impact.

A male dog might have the instinct to pee onto vertical objects. Conifers are plants, which often fall victim to such behaviour. Dogs are capable of damaging conifers very quickly – young trees and bushes die away having been sprayed on several times. To protect them, you can fence them off with a net or a palisade. If possible, it is a good idea to sacrifice one bush for your dog. Alternatively, you can fix into the ground a wooden pile, which the dog might take an interest in instead.

A cat in a garden – what will it nibble, where will it paw?

Cats diligently bury their droppings, for which they use the dirt or sand that they find it the easiest to dig in. How to convince your cat not to dig in ornamental plant beds? You can create a ‘potty’ for your cat. One of the ways is to place in the garden a litter box that the cat is used to. Alternatively, you can designate a suitable place for it to dig in. Naturally, you would need to replace the dirt in that area from time to time. What can you, however, do with stubborn pets who keep digging in recently planted flowerbeds? Consider covering the earth with branches that the cat would find unpleasant to touch, such as pine, juniper or other prickly tree.

A cat in a garden will nibble on grass. Although it will not be able to damage the lawn, the hard blades of grass may irritate its digestive track. Hence, you need to regularly mow your lawn. Moreover, it is important to consider poisonous plants. Most pets instinctively avoid them; however, if your cat likes to nibble on all leaves, you should look after it at all times or refrain from planting in your garden ivies, Datura, boxes, clematis, delphinium, sweat peas, lupine, lobelias and primroses (a full list of plants poisonous to cats can be easily found on the Internet).

How can one protect plants from dogs and cats?

It is common for dogs to dig holes in the ground. One of the most effective ways of protecting fragile plants is to plant them in groups and fence them off. In such a case, the dog will probably go around them. It will also avoid hedges formed out of prickly plants, such as barberry, rose or hawthorn. Raised garden beds based for example on palisades and fenced off with a wooden wall will make it harder for the dog to enter into. But what can you do when your dog or cat remains persistent and resolutely abides visits your flower beds? In that case a product repelling dogs and cats, for example Dr Seidel – Repelex Garden, may come in handy. The product is in a form of granules that give off a smell unpleasant for the pets. An advantage of the product is that the granules release active substances slowly, remaining active for a long time. The granules should be distributed on the area, which we need to protect from the pets. 100 g of the product can effectively be used to repel pets from an area of 5 m2 throughout 2-4 weeks (in the case of rainfall, the product needs to be applied more often, as it is biodegradable). With the use of the safe pet repellent and several additional ideas, you will be able to effectively protect your garden without exposing your pets to stress.

30 July 2018