Skip to content

Making Your Garden Pet-friendly

Making Your Garden Pet-friendly

As any long term tenant knows, it’s hard to keep pets in a rental property. That means that if you want anything larger than a goldfish, you’ll need to own a home of your own.

But if you’re hoping to go straight from the settlement room to the pet shelter, there are a few things to consider first. Will your new home be suitable for a pet?

It’s a great idea to keep the garden in mind when you’re deciding which house to buy. Is there space, shade and security? Some modifications are easier than others to make, so a little preparation now can mean a lot less expense down the track.

Here’s what to keep in mind.

Dogs

Dogs need outdoor space. While some breeds will be fine in an apartment, they’ll need extra walks compared to those who have a garden to play in.

Fencing and gates

The most important thing for a dog-friendly yard is to make sure that it’s secure. While some breeds are more prone to escaping than others – as any who’s owned a beagle will attest – you run the risk with any dog that’s left outside while you’re out.

Working dog breeds, which include collies, kelpies and Australian Shepherds, are usually excellent jumpers. Research what your breed is capable of and make sure that your fencing is high enough to keep them contained. Don’t forget gates, either: many dogs work out simple mechanisms very quickly, so make sure your gates latch securely and too high up for them to reach.

Plants

Now that you have Fido contained, make sure your hard is a safe and fun place for them to play. Dogs tend to eat plants, especially if they’re bored, and some species can be toxic. Check this thorough list of toxic plants if you’re not sure if you’re harbouring dangerous greenery, and consider taking steps to keep pup and plant apart.

Shelter

If your dog stays outdoors while you’re out, it will need shelter. That means shelter from the sun during warmer months, as well as shelter from rain and wind in winter. Trees should provide enough shade in most circumstances, although some yards do get very hot. If yours doesn’t have a lot of trees, make sure there’s a verandah or outdoor room for your dog to lie in. A small wading pool, available from hardware stores, offers drinking water and entertainment.

In winter, your dog will need a little more than a tree. Build them a kennel if they don’t have a garage or other structure to curl up in, and make sure they have blankets or a warm bed to keep the chill out.

Cats

Across Australia, councils are introducing laws that will require cat owners to confine their animals to their own property. These vary both in scope and time. In some council areas, owners will only be required to keep their cats in at night; in others, all the time. Some laws are already in effect, while in other areas you have a while to get adjusted.

There are a number of things you can do to make your life easier, depending on the kind of yard you have. One option, of course, is to keep your cats indoors all the time. However, if you want them to have access to outdoor areas, there are some options on the market.

Fencing

If you have high fencing, you can make some adjustments to stop your cats leaving the yard. Horizontal ‘spinner’ bars installed across the top of the fence prevents your cats from getting a grip on the fence and getting over. Alternatively, you can add mesh that angles into your yard.

To be effective, you’ll need to make sure there are no overhanging trees near the perimeter of your property. It may also prove expensive if your garden is very large.

Cat nets

If you have a small yard with solid fences, cat nets might be a good solution. These stretch between your house and the property’s borders to create an enclosure that’s not unlike an aviary. Depending on the layout and size of your garden, you can enclose a section or the whole garden.

Catios

Not every property is suitable for enclosing. Large yards or those with low or non-existent fencing will need a different solution: a catio. This is a purpose-built enclosure that attaches to your house, usually with a window as the conduit between inside and outside. It offers an enclosed area for your cats to play while enjoying the outside sights and smells.

Make sure your pet has what it needs, and you’ll live a long and happy life together. The local wildlife will thank you as well!

Related articles from the view

Jul 2, 2018

How to choose a pet friendly home

It sometimes seems as if every second property is advertised as being family-friendly, but children aren’t the only creatures under four foot to consider. If you have pets, the property you choose should take their needs into account as well. Here are a few things to consider: 1. Location You may not be worrying about…
Read more
  • Residential
  • Homeowner
  • Lifestyle
  • Pets
Jul 19, 2018

Keen to be green? Tips for an eco-friendly interior

Keen to be green? With our awareness of environmental issues rising all the time, it’s no surprise that more and more people are keen to make sure the inside of their homes are eco-friendly. Whether it’s because you’re preparing to sell and want to present your property as squeaky clean in the greenest sense, or…
Read more
  • General
  • Residential
Sep 4, 2018

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide

You might have noticed a change in the past few weeks. Perhaps you didn’t reach for your slippers and robe as soon as you got out of bed, or you noticed the blossoms blooming along your street. Yes, it’s spring and we’ll all soon be wearing t-shirts and sandals once more. But spring isn’t just…
Read more
  • General
  • Residential
  • Rural
Jul 2, 2018

Four steps to a blissful bedroom

The average Australian adult sleeps between seven and nine hours a night, every night. Assuming that you don’t work seven days a week, your bedroom is likely to be the place you spend the most time in during the week. Not only that, but sleep has been widely shown as beneficial to your physical and…
Read more
  • Residential
  • Rural
  • Home
  • Interior Design
  • Lifestyle
Jul 2, 2018

Five reasons to buy a unit

The 1950s Australian dream may have been for a three-bedroom house on a quarter acre block. But is it really what suits you? It’s still far more common to think about buying a house than a unit. Unit sales make up only around 20% of all dwellings in Australia. But the shift in demographics towards…
Read more
  • Residential
  • First Home Buyer
  • Home Buyer
  • Investment