Posts Tagged pets

Pet Friendly Landscaing – Little Changes that Make a Big Deal

It can be hard to keep the pet you want and have the perfect landscape.  CatsUnique Pet and dogs can ruin grass, flower and vegetable beds, and even trees.  Horses, goats, and chickens need their own specialized spaces which conform with city ordinances. Peacocks and other exotic pets have their own quirks and needs.

However, here are a few ideas which can help make the difference between fighting against your pet’s natural habits and having a peaceful outdoor space you both can enjoy.

Understand your pet’s needs. Different types of pets have different needs.  For example, a small mutt may just need a little running space and a patch on which to do his or her business.  However, a beagle or puggle needs lots of running space, and a puppy may need to chew on things – like your trees, and any dog may need a spot in which to dig or hide their favorite toys.

A cat usually needs plenty of roaming space and, if they are to be confined to the yard and house alone, very high fences.

Horses, goats, chickens, and other animals that may be considered farm animals have specific ordinances which cover their minimal needs.  The large animals like horses, goats, donkeys, etc also need a way to exit their pens and stalls to be walked or ridden on outside paths and roads.

The more you understand your pet’s needs, the more you can create a good place for them, while still keeping the yard space you want.

Set up fenced spaces as needed. Delineate where pens should be located, or if fences need to be put up to block your pet off from other parts of your yard.  Once you have that sorted out, work out if your need the fences high or deep (usually for cats and chickens, your fences need to be high, and for dogs you need your fences deep).

Try hardscaping some shared areas.  You can always hardscape areas that both you and your pet use.  This way they will have a tougher time damaging it, and you can still enjoy it.   If this means your landscaper will have to sacrifice your flowers or veggies, you can see if you can get a hanging garden installed.

Additionally, if you want to get really creative, you can incorporate your garden and a water feature.  I recently saw an amazing water feature which utilized a piano that had been deemed unusable.  The landscaper planted up the inside of the piano, while water came out of the area where the keys used to be.

The water will generally deter your pet from getting too curious.

Add levels to your yard. By installing raised beds, you can usually help deter your dog from getting into your garden and digging up your plants.   They can work like a fence for smaller dog, or just a less attractive and easy access area than the areas your dog normal frequents.

Install plants your pet doesn’t like. There are plants your pet won’t want to eat or don’t like to be around.  You can plant these around areas you don’t want them in.   For example, dogs often don’t like are: calendula and rue.  Both cats and dogs don’t like plectranthus caninus, or coleus canina.

These are just some ideas.  There are more ideas for pet friendly landscaping can be found here.  Do you have any strategies you use in your yard?

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Pet Friendly Landscape

Your home and yard are likely not exactly places you want your pet digging in, dragging dirt around, and generally making a mess in.  If you are really fastidious, you can forbid your pet from going to the bathroom or digging in your yard.  But, this is often extremely hard.

Additionally, your issue may depend on the kind of pet you have.  Here are some ideas – depending on the pet:


Dogs are some of the harder animals to prevent from harming your yard.  You can assign a certain portion of your yard for your dog and exclude them to that area using a fence or other means.  Additionally, you can install hardscaping.  This obviously won’t prevent them from pooping or peeing, but it’s easier to clean up.  Dog runs can also be installed, which can double as pathways through your home.  Finally, if your dog pees on parts of the lawn, try to spray it with water right away to diffuse the nitrogen.

– Chickens:

Chickens are pretty tough to keep.  There are a lot of rules and regulations with regard what areas will allow you to keep chickens.  However, usually you can get a coop set up, then compost the straw and chicken waste for fertilizer.  Finally, if you let your chickens run while – try excluding them from any vegetables or flowers you have.  I had chickens once and they ate every vegetable sprout I had – and dug up my bulbs.

– Goats:

Goats need to be excluded from anything you don’t want eaten.  Goats eat EVERYTHING.  I recommend exclusion as your main course of action.


Horses can only be kept in certain areas of Los Angeles – like Shadow Hills.  You can often keep them in specific locations, but you can also create trails for them – which can be fun for you and the horse!

There are other interesting pets – like peacocks, sheep, rabbits, etc.  Peacocks are pretty much impossible to control, but most of these animals can be easily contained.  You just have to be willing to give up yard space for them.

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Useful Pets

There are some pets which are extremely useful to your landscape (some of which you can only keep in specific sections of SoCal):

1. Goats: These are nature’s lawn-mower/fertilizer combo.  They make good pets, but they eat everything – as you have likely heard.  Also, if you do have a goat, make sure to let their manure compost properly.

2. Horses: Another fun lawn-mower/fertilizer combo, along with being lots of fun to ride and so on.  Again, you have to ensure their manure cures completely before using it as fertilizer.

3. Rabbits: These little rodents are another lawn-mower/fertilizer combo.  You have to ensure they have a place to stay out of the sun, and keep an eye out for hawks and other predators which might harm your pet.

4. Chickens: These birdies are great for fertilizing, but letting them run free without very high fences is not the best idea – as they can wander very far from home.  It’s a better idea to give them a bird run, and compost the hay or straw for fertilizer.  Also, I’ll tell you from personal experience – if you let chickens roam free, they will dig up any vegetables, fruits or bulbs you happen to be growing.  My garlic and onions were eaten by chickens before I had a chance to enjoy them myself, last year.

These are some unusual pets, and there are areas where you cannot have them.  But if you plan on keeping any of the above, make sure you consult with your local landscaper on the best place to keep them in your yard, as well as how best to shelter them, and what facilities you will need for them to be most comfortable.

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