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Creating a Dog-Friendly Garden

May 1, 2021

Do you have a fenced yard for Fido to run and play in? Good for you! It’s great for our canine buddies to be able to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine off-leash, and perhaps chase some squirrels. However, if you like to garden, you may find your pet and your plants a bit at odds. We can help! Read on as a Thorold, ON vet discusses gardening with Fido.

P  ick Pet-Safe Plants

First and foremost, be sure to only use plants that are safe for Man’s Best Friend. You can find a full list on the ASPCA website here . Keep in mind that toxicity isn’t the only concern here. You’ll also want to be careful with sharp, thorny plants, especially those at Fido’s eye level. Roses are one example of this.

Use Dog-Friendly Covers

Keep Fido in mind when choosing ground covers. Mulch is a very popular one, but it can be dangerous for our canine pals. It can cause paw splinters, and often provides tempting sanctuaries for fleas and ticks. Plus, some pups will actually try to chew it. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it at all, but try to limit it to spots Fido can’t access. For a more pet-friendly ground cover option, you can opt for pea gravel, buffalo grass, or creeping red thyme.


One thing that can really help is dividing up your yard into different areas. If you’re just starting your garden, watch what Fido does in the yard before you section it off into areas. If your furry friend tends to run back and forth in a certain spot, work his doggy highway into your design.

As for the actual borders, there are many different things you can use. Fences are of course the obvious choice, but you can also get raised beds, shrubberies, logs, short stone walls, or container gardens. Also, keep Fido in mind when designing your beds. Put tough, thick plants around the edges, and keep the more delicate ones in the center.


Last but not least, keep Fido occupied by making his part of the yard fun and exciting. Add some ‘pupgrades’ for your canine companion. Your pooch will love having a kiddie pool, sandbox, pet fountain, toys, or even a doghouse!

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Thorold, ON veterinary clinic!

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