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Pets in the garden

Most pet owners are aware of the importance of pet-safe gardening – avoiding toxic plants, fencing off no-go areas and double-checking the label on any chemical products used in the garden. However, few gardeners consider allocating a part of their gardens specifically to their furry friends.

Experts say that pets treat their own ailments by munching on particular plants. This may seem strange to us, but it can be beneficial for the health of your dogs and cats. Help them out and show them you care by growing a medicinal pet garden.

Choosing the best plants

Since your pets will be up close and personal with these plants, the source is important. Ensure the plants you buy are high quality and certified organic. If you are uncertain, try growing the plants from seeds instead.

When it comes to choosing plants, you have many options. Some plants work for both cats and dogs, while others are specific to certain animals. Wheatgrass and pet grass are good choices for any animal with digestion problems, while chamomile serves as a calming agent for both you and your pets. Calendula doubles as a calming agent and an antiseptic when applied to wounds.

Catnip is great for cats (if this isn’t clear in the nomenclature!). It can make your four-legged friends a little mad, so keep it in a place where you do not mind a mess.

Dog-specific plants include ones popular in your kitchen too – ginger, rosemary, peppermint and basil. They will munch on any of these when they have an upset stomach. As a bonus, a few of these can freshen your dog’s breath.

Finding the best location

As the saying goes – location, location, location. Pet gardens tend to get messy and will not stay pristinely planted forever. You may want to tuck this garden away somewhere out of direct sight to avoid any gasps from your guests.

That said, the garden needs to be in a sunny location with good quality soil. This may be a garden for pets to ultimately eat from, but the health and survival of the plants is still important. If you have limited outdoor space, many of the suitable plants can be planted in containers and placed on a patio or indoors – but be warned that they may be knocked over by an overeager culprit.

Pets and artificial grass

If you have artificial grass and dogs, you will know that your pets do not distinguish between this and real grass and cleaning urine off can be a battle. SmellAway Artificial Grass breaks down pet urine on artificial grass and eliminates the smell completely.

Maintenance

Your pet garden will need regular watering and attention to thrive. Harvest herbs continually to promote growth (or leave your pets to do the harvesting for you). Over time you will notice their preference for certain plants – focus on harvesting and maintaining those to produce bigger, healthier plants.

Planting a pet garden is a hassle-free way to show your pets that you care. Plus, a few extra herbs for your kitchen couldn’t hurt!