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Adding Value To your Living and Working Experience



Yours could be the perfect postcard garden complete with a glistening velvet lawn, flourishing beds draped in arresting colours. That is until you acquire pets in form of dogs and cats. Then the whole garden scenario changes!

How do you keep creatures that are essentially wild in an environment that is generally artificial and hope to tame their latent animal instincts.?

Slouched on the couch, your cat or dog may seem harmless.


However their sojourn into the garden portends serious challenges for the gardener.  Dogs will lumber over fragile plants or young seedlings. Terriers specifically bred for retrieving- have a knack for freshly disturbed soil in which they will frolic and roll uprooting newly planted flowers or seedlings. This is particularly for vegetable garden where newly planted seeds are soon exposed.


Although dogs have distinct urinal habits, the urine affects garden plants. By instinct male dogs like their human counterparts urinate on vertical objects, mostly trees and flowers.

Female dogs on the other hand use the centre of the lawn. Because their urine is high in nitrogen it scorches plants and causes brown coloration in the lawn. Such scattered patches cause despoliation, stealing away at the aesthetics.


Then there is the question of dog faeces.  Like wild oats they pop up in every corner of the garden reducing its appeal to visitors and children. Worse pets stool, particularly dogs is a fertile breeding ground for bacteria, parasites and diseases. As such handling the stuff requires observance of basic hygiene.


Although challenges associated with pets may seem daunting, they should not deter an avid pet lover and gardener from enjoying the better of the two worlds. By application of simple time tested techniques one can have a generally trouble free homestead. Two approaches are normally used to manage pets in the garden. Input methods rely more on training your pets to attain certain desirable behavior patterns while output methods are restrictive in nature; leaning towards barring your pets from certain areas.


A lush garden is ideal for training your dog. Where a thick shrub or grasses exists, you can train your dog to urinate or defecate here, out of view.  This is achieved by taking your dog out every morning to the desired spot. In due course the dog gets used to the routine and the spot.

Occasionally the dog may relieve themselves outside your preferred area. This shouldn’t alarm you as it is normal dog practice which is referred to as “marking”.


Similarly, you can direct your dog to quarry only in specific areas rather than ruining your flowers. Pile up mounds of soil and if possible bury pieces of dog food. It will not be long before the dog takes the cue.

Sometimes a dogs messing may be due to boredom. Regularly taking your dog for an exacting walk will limit their restlessness. A dog tired to the bone will be less inclined to dig around. All it may need is a rug upon which to nap away.

To safeguard the safety of your pets, avoid using pesticides. Rather use organic inputs that are environment friendly. Whichever inputs you use, dispose them off by burying. Also avoid plants that are harmful to your pets. Spathiphylum (peace lily) is poisonous to cats as it damages the liver while seed pods of the sago palm are also toxic to dog livers.


You can reinforce the above measures with deterrent options. Ring fence your fragile plants, seedlings or vegetable  garden by using wire, poles picket fences or thorny pruning  from prickly plants, you keep the pets off limit.

You can discourage dog from digging by inserting paper in new holes- which sends the dogs packing at the first instance.







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