It’s not just the two legged inhabitants of the home that are likely to enjoy time in the garden this summer, the garden also represents a natural paradise for pets during the warmer months. But is your garden pet friendly?

Dog Safe Fencing

The most important consideration for any garden which is likely to home pets, particularly dogs, is to make sure that it’s securely fenced in. Relying on existing planting or dilapidated fencing is simply a challenge to most four legged friends, who given half the chance, will find a way out of anything less than a 100% dog proof fence.

A design featuring closely fitted panels such as Featherboard or Tongue and Groove will obviously create a dense barrier, which even the most mischievous mutt would find hard to penetrate but not all properties will suit this style of fencing. Classic Palisade picket fencing is a highly popular choice for a garden setting but be sure to check that there is no room for any pets to dig their way out from under the bottom of the pales. A more open design such as Jaktop or post and rail will require additional wire stock fencing at the base to prevent any attempted escapes. Be aware that fencing which still provides a view into the garden can sometimes draw attention to valuable items – including pets – which the opportunist thief might consider as easy pickings.

Secure Garden Gates

There is no point having a robust fence installed around your garden if the entry gates into the premises are not secure. Make sure that the hinges and bolts are working properly – a gate which has come away from its hinges or that has dropped making it difficult to close can easily offer an exit route for pets. Rust can cause the gate fittings to no longer function efficiently so always choose a gate with galvanised bolts and hinges.

Any fencing or gate which is prone to rotting will compromise the safety of the garden so always seek out products which are supported by a long life time guarantee. The unique Jakcure timber treatment process from Jacksons offers a 25-year guarantee against rot and wood boring pests, representing peace of mind that your fencing investment is safe and also delivering a maintenance-free fencing solution.

Sanctuary From The Sun

Pets like children, require access to shade in the garden to avoid over-heating. If your garden does not benefit from natural shade supplied by trees and hedges you should consider installing some kind of shelter from the sun to keep animals comfortable. There are plenty of choices ranging from giant sails to bespoke buildings such as the Jacksons Retreat. And if installing an actual shelter seems extravagant, don't forget, the provision of shade will always be a necessity for all household members, not just the pets!

Retreat Garden Shelter fence seating design

Planting Protocol

There are a number of plant species which are highly dangerous to animals and these are to be avoided in the garden at all costs. These include daffodil bulbs, deadly nightshade, narcissus bulbs and umbrella plant. Visit The Dogs Trust for more details. Some species of plant regularly used to create a hedge which acts as an effective boundary are also included in the list of ‘toxic’ plants. Pet owners are therefore encouraged to opt for a suitable strong fence which represents a more responsible (and lower maintenance) choice.

Have you got an innovative idea for making your garden pet friendly? Do you think it's possible to have a pet safe garden that's also a haven for humans too? Please share your ideas and thoughts using the comments below.