Question Mark Icon
  • Home
  • All
  • Making your own pet-friendly garden
    • All
    • 22 May, 2020

    Making your own pet-friendly garden

    Gardens are great spaces for us to enjoy with our cats and dogs. There are so many ways you can create an enriching and engaging space for your pets to play, sniff around and relax in!

    Our Vet Nurse, Amy, has given us some helpful hints and tips to help you build your dream, pet-friendly garden space.

    Safety first!

    Check that your garden is safe and secure before allowing your pet to roam around. Fencing and gates which can be locked will help to ensure that your dog cannot escape. If you wish to keep your cat enclosed in your garden, place inward sloping mesh fencing above your fence, so that they cannot jump up and climb out.

    Supervising your pet whilst they are out in the garden is important, especially for the first few times they are allowed out. You might be surprised at how ingenious they can be at finding an escape route you may not have spotted!

    Make a pet-friendly garden

    Unwanted garden guests

    When letting your pets out into the garden, keep an eye out for slugs and snails as they carry lungworm and can infect your pet should they ingest them.

    Many pest repellents and weed killers are very harmful for our pets. Slug pellets and other pest deterrents, such as rat poison, can be toxic, so avoid using these if possible or try to secure the area that the deterrents are in so your pet cannot get to it. Avoid the use of weed killers or lawn feeders, as these can be very dangerous for your pets and the local wildlife if ingested.

    Getting creative in your garden

    Creating a fun-filled sensory garden, filled with toys, activities and smells is not only a fun activity to do, but it will also help engage all of your pet’s senses, creating a mentally stimulating space for them to explore.

    You could introduce a variety of climbing and perching platforms for your cats, bury some treats or toys for your dog to sniff out and turn your garden into a big, pet-friendly playground. You can use sand pits to bury treats and toys, saving the grass and flowers from being dug up!

    Be sure to provide some shaded areas to allow your pet to move out of the heat and keep a bowl of water outside. A garden can be fun for all the family, but we recommend against using bird feeders or anything else that will attract wildlife into your garden, as this can cause stress for both your pets and the wildlife.

    Welcomed plants and those to avoid

    Herbs such as rosemary, sage and lavender have several beneficial properties, and are great to plant in your garden. Catnip grass is a good addition too, as your feline friend will love it!

    Try to avoid any bushes or plants which have thorns. Just as we find these painful, so too will our pets if they get manage to get caught on them.Winnie in sensory garden

    Garden plants and vegetables which are toxic to pets include:

    Before planting anything in your garden, please check if it’s a possible toxin for your pet and the local wildlife.


    • Lillies
    • Irises
    • Tomatoes
    • Leeks
    • Potatoes
    • Yucca plants


    • Lupins
    • Rhododendrons
    • Bluebells
    • Wild cherry trees
    • Yew trees
    • Sweet peas
    • Onions


    • Tulips
    • Daffodils/narcissus
    • Foxgloves
    • Hyacinths
    • Ivy plants
    • Buttercups
    • Azaleas
    • Cyclamens
    • Peaches
    • Apples
    • Apricots
    • Elderberries
    • Rhubarbs

    Make a Quick Donation

    Latest News

    Confessions of a Kitten Foster Carer

    An insight into what it’s like to be a Foster Volunteer at Mayhew, from Liz:  “In eighteen months I’ve successfully…

    Read More

    Confessions of a Dog Foster Carer

    An insight into what it’s like to be a Dog Foster Volunteer at Mayhew, from Laura & Matt:  “After having…

    Read More

    A heart-breaking case for all

    No two days are ever the same at our Home in North West London, and we never know what to…

    Read More