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How to create a pet-friendly environment

Nearly 20% of the UK population added a new pet to their household during the lockdown in 2020. With many people planning to renovate their garden spaces ready for the summer, you should consider some of the areas that could pose a danger to new animals and what they can benefit from their outdoor space.

To help you get started, we have put together some tips and tricks on how to create a pet-friendly garden that both you and your pets can enjoy.

1. Avoid dangerous plants

Did you know that some of the most common plants found in UK gardens can be incredibly dangerous to your pets? Some of the most hazardous include daffodils, lilies, chrysanthemum, English ivy and tulips. Instead, consider planting sunflowers, nasturtiums and fuchsias, which are not only safer for your pets but can also encourage more birds into your garden and deter pests.

2. Try organic alternatives

Although pesticides such as slug repellent or weed killer can help keep unwanted guests away from your plants, they can be harmful if ingested by pets. There are plenty of cheaper, effective and safer alternatives to keep pests away. Coffee grounds, crushed eggshells and copper wire are just a few examples that have been proven to work.

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3. Keep unsafe areas locked

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Despite sheds and compost bins being a necessity in most gardens, they can be dangerous to some curious pets. Food scraps in compost bins can attract animals; however, some of the contents, such as avocados, grapes or onions, can be harmful. You should also ensure that all sheds or storage spaces that contain tools or garden products such as feed or repellents are kept locked and inaccessible to any pets.

4. Grow your own

If you are the owners of rabbits or guinea pigs who love their green leaves, why not try growing a constant supply. Leaves such as rocket, spinach and kale are easy to sow and grow back quickly after harvesting. You can also try growing larger vegetables such as carrots or broccoli for your pets.

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5. Place bird feeders high up

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When placing bird feeders around our garden, ensure they are placed at an appropriate height where cats or dogs can not reach them. They should also be located away from windows or glass doors to prevent birds from crashing into them.

6. Safe paths

If your dog’s main source of exercise is running around the garden, make sure the path surfaces are smooth and flat to stop potential injuries or damage to their legs and paws. Small stones such as pebbles and gravel should be avoided when possible as it is easy for pets, especially young pups, to chew and swallow them.

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7. Keep water features safe

Restrict off water features such as ponds or streams that curious pets may slip into. You should also be aware of any chemicals or substances you use to treat water, especially if your pet has a habit of drinking from them.

8. Create shaded areas

During the sunny summer months, is it easy for pets to become overheated and dehydrated. Trees and large shrubs can create perfect shade along with roofed areas or draped sheets. Also, make sure they have a constant supply of freshwater throughout the day.

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