Pet friendly garden design – 8 Top Tips

9 Jun, 2023

Pet friendly garden design – 8 Top Tips

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Many homeowners like to create their own garden once they have settled and understand the lie of the land. If you have pets there are extra considerations of course. And knowing how to landscape a pet friendly garden design is important to ensure they are safe and not likely to eat plants that could endanger them. Read on to learn eight top tips from the seasoned design team at Green Team Landscaping.

How to landscape a pet friendly garden design

pet friendly garden design
Make sure your garden is well fenced in to ensure dogs are safe within your property boundaries

Landscaping a pet friendly garden design requires careful consideration to ensure the safety, comfort, and happiness of your furry companions.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with five essential tips to help you create a pet friendly garden design that will become a haven for your pets. We also offer dog-friendly backyard ideas on a budget, and ideas on dog-friendly garden plants.

Whether you have dogs, cats, or other small animals, these tips will guide you in designing a space that promotes their wellbeing while maintaining the beauty of your outdoor sanctuary. You will also learn how to keep pets safe in particular seasons.

1.   Select pet-safe plants and materials

pet safe garden design
Choosing the right plants can ensure that your pets are not unknowingly harmed by toxic plants

When planning your pet friendly garden design, it’s vital to choose non-toxic plants and materials that are safe for your furry friends. Some common garden plants can be toxic if ingested by animals.

  • Opt for pet friendly plant options such as spider plants, Boston ferns, and petunias, which are non-toxic and won’t pose a risk to your pets.
  • Be mindful of the materials you use in your garden. Select non-toxic mulch and avoid using pesticides or herbicides that could be harmful to your pets.

2. Create shaded areas

pet friendly
Creating pathways around your garden makes mobility easier for older pets

Pets, like humans, need a shaded spot to seek refuge from the sun’s heat. Designate shaded areas in your garden where your pets can relax and cool down.

This can be achieved by:

  • Planting trees strategically.
  • Installing pergolas.
  • Setting up garden umbrellas.

See more ideas for creating shade in your garden here.

Having cool retreat areas in your pet friendly garden design will provide comfort for your pets and help prevent them from overheating during hot summer days.

3. Establish pathways and zones for your pets

pet friendly
Dogs love to run around an open space, especially a wild flower meadow. Make sure it is well fenced and secure

Create designated pathways and zones within your landscape to protect your garden and guide your pets.

  • Use borders, hedges, or low fences to define specific areas where your pets can roam freely without causing damage to delicate plants or flower beds.
  • Incorporate pet-friendly materials like gravel or stone to build pathways that guide your pets around the garden, ensuring they can explore without harm.
  • If you have a potager or grow vegetables work to create a dog-friendly vegetable garden.

4. Incorporate pet-safe water features

pet friendly garden design
Make sure your water features are pet friendly and the water is drinkable

Water features can add a delightful touch to your garden while also providing a refreshing drinking source for your pets.

Consider installing one of the following:

  • A small pond.
  • A pet-friendly water fountain.
  • A shallow water basin.

Ensure the water is clean and easily accessible for your pets, and be cautious of any potential hazards or deep areas that could pose a risk to their safety.

5. Provide Amenities for Your Pets

dog proof furniture
Ensure your dog has toys or they’ll claim their own

Enhance your pet friendly garden design by including amenities that cater to your pets’ needs.

  • Create a comfortable resting spot with a cosy pet bed.
  • Designate a shaded patio area with pet-friendly furniture where you and your furry friends can relax together.
  • Establish a designated area for them to relieve themselves, such as a small patch of artificial turf or a gravel bed, to maintain a clean and enjoyable garden environment.

6. Install secure pet friendly fencing

Ensure you garden fence is secure all around your property to keep pets safe

To ensure the safety of your pets and prevent them from wandering off, it’s essential to install secure fencing around your garden.

  • Choose a fence that is tall enough to prevent larger pets from jumping over and has small enough gaps to prevent smaller pets from squeezing through.
  • Consider adding a lockable gate to secure the space further and prevent any accidental escapes.

By providing a secure boundary, you can give your pets the freedom to explore and enjoy the garden while keeping them safe within the designated area.

7. Create a designated play area

pet friendly
Making a pet friendly garden design work will give you peace of mind, you know they will be safe

Pets, especially dogs, love to play and have space to engage in their favourite activities. Designate a specific area in your pet friendly garden design play area.

  • Pick a section of soft grass or a pet-safe surface where your pets can run, chase toys, and play games with you or other pets.
  • Incorporate interactive elements such as tunnels, hoops, or agility equipment to create a stimulating and entertaining environment for your pets.

Providing a dedicated play area encourages physical exercise, mental stimulation, and bonding time with your furry companions while maintaining a nice overall garden space.

8. Implement pet friendly pest control measures

Young pets are a particular case in hand and you need to be double observant in the garden

Maintaining a pest-free garden is essential for the wellbeing of your pets, but it’s equally important to choose pet friendly pest control methods.

  • Avoid using chemical pesticides or insecticides that could harm your furry friends if they come into contact with them or ingest treated plants.
  • Opt for natural pest control alternatives. For example, you can introduce companion plants that naturally repel pests or use organic pest control products that are safe for pets, like this ultrasonic pest repeller.
  • Regularly inspect your garden for any signs of pests and promptly address the issue using pet friendly methods to ensure a healthy and safe environment for your pets.

Pet friendly garden design in summary

Landscaping a pet friendly garden design allows you to create a fabulous pet friendly garden. You will have a safe and enjoyable space where your pets can thrive and coexist with nature. By selecting pet-safe plants and materials and providing pet-focused amenities, you can design a garden that promotes the wellbeing and happiness of your furry companions.


About the author

With 15 years of experience, the team at Green Team Landscaping are specialists in garden design and landscaping. They design exquisite dream gardens across North London and have a keen eye for environmentally-friendly construction. From installing decking and water features to garden paths and lawn turfing, they deliver an impeccable garden finish.



At we like to offer useful and practical articles on topics for our readers. In this selection we offer you a number of suitable pieces from our own blog on preparing new home and creating a pet friendly garden and home.

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Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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