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Creating the perfect dog-friendly garden

Creating the perfect dog-friendly garden
Published April 2022

With the summer months fast approaching, nothing beats relaxing outside with your canine companion. But, how do you make sure you have a dog-friendly garden that you and your four-legged friend can enjoy?

Creating a beautiful outdoor area which also keeps your pooch happy, healthy and safe doesn’t have to be a challenge. Take a look at our helpful top tips for dog-friendly garden ideas.

Use dog-friendly grass seed

Dogs can be tough on our gardens, digging up flower beds and damaging the grass, so it can be tempting to try and fix our lawns with grass seed to help bring it back to life. However, traditional grass seed is definitely something to avoid for pet owners, as it can be extremely harmful to dogs. Due to the shape of the seed it can become lodged deep within your dog’s ears, eyes, paws and throat, causing inflammation and in some cases might need to be removed with surgery. Grass seed and lawn enhancers may also include weed-killing chemicals, which can be toxic for dogs. But you can now spruce up your lawn the easy way, using dog friendly grass seed.

You can search online for specific dog-friendly brands or alternatively, check the details on the grass seed packets for any precautions about keeping out of reach of your dog.

What happens if my dog eats grass seed?

If your dog has eaten grass seed their behaviour might start to change, so look out for coughing, vomiting or loss of appetite. If these symptoms occur, seek advice from a vet.

Provide shade and shelter

It can be easy for dogs to overheat during summer, especially after long walks without regular rest stops. Planting trees and shrubs in your garden can provide natural, shady spots, perfect for letting your pup cool down.

You could also consider buying an outdoor dog kennel, which is a great space for your dog to get some much-needed peace and quiet. Kennels also protect your pooch from the unpredictable Great British weather.

Only have dog-friendly plants

To help your dog feel at ease and have fun, it’s important to create a stimulating environment. Just like us, dogs thrive among different sights, sounds and scents, so the more varied the plants, the better.

Trees and plants play a huge part in bringing our gardens to life, but before you hit the garden centre, it’s important to find out which are safe for our beloved four-legged friends to be around. There are a range of dog friendly plants available, which will brighten up your garden in no time. These include:

  • Geraniums
  • Fuchsias
  • Sunflowers
  • Magnolia Bushes
  • African Daisies
  • Daylilies
  • Camellias
  • Garden Marigolds

Keep your garden safe and secure

No matter how big or small, it’s really important to make sure your garden is as secure as possible. Dogs can jump surprisingly high and squeeze through the smallest of gaps in fences if they fancy an unexpected adventure, so preparation is key.

Installing a dog-proof fence is a great place to start. Usually over 6ft tall, without any gaps or cracks, a dog proof fence will also be fitted into the ground, to ensure there are no gaps that your pet can burrow under.

Make sure your gate also has a proper lock, which will add another level of security, protecting your pup from intruders. These extra measures might be popular with the postman too!

Use dog-proof bins

Dogs can be attracted to bins, especially if they can smell last night’s takeaway or Sunday lunch leftovers. This not only causes a mess, but can also be harmful to them if they find sharp cans, glass, chicken bones or toxic substances such as bleach. Compost bins can also cause dogs harm if the food inside is poisonous to them. Consider keeping your bins in a separate place, like a shed where your four-legged friends can’t reach them.

Use pet-safe pest control

Flower beds and patios are the ideal place for slimy pests to invade. After hibernating in the winter, slugs and snails resurface in the warmer weather, getting into every nook and cranny. Well known for carrying harmful parasites, which can cause serious health issues to dogs, slugs and snails are a hazard that pet owners need to be on the lookout for. 

Traditional pest control products contain an ingredient that’s toxic to pets, especially dogs. There are now several pet-friendly pest control solutions available, which is great news for pet owners. To prevent your pup from coming into contact with pests, tidy away their toys and store in a slug-proof box at night. Regularly washing any outdoor dog bowls and toys can also prevent your pet from these harmful pests.

These garden ideas for dogs will help you to create the perfect environment to suit you and your pooch. These small changes can keep them happy, healthy and most importantly, safe.

Don’t forget to insure your dog. This can help pay for the treatment they need if they fall ill. You’ll find lots of handy advice at Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance.

This Money Talk post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.