Helpful Tips for Pet-Proofing Your Austin, TX Landscape

Dogs and cats may be our best animal friends, but they can wreak havoc on our landscaping. Home should be safe for your animals and free from potential threats, so pet-proofing your Austin, TX landscape is a must-do task. Your pets can’t protect themselves; you have to do it for them!  

Pets, most often dogs, like to go outside for playtime or to lay in the sun. Your landscaping practices may pose several threats to your pets as they try to enjoy their time. Things such as fertilizers, pesticides, mulch, and compost could be toxic if your animal tries to eat or lick it. Which is highly likely if you have a puppy because puppies are adventurous and will get into anything!

So, if you need to pet-proof your Austin, TX landscape, here are some tips!

Pick Dog-Safe Flowers and Plants

You might spend hours on your seasonal flower bed only for your dog to dig it up and eat the flowers. These things happen! Many common flowers can be poisonous to dogs. If you’re unsure, call your vet to confirm that your flower selections are dog safe.

A few common backyard flowers that are dangerous for dogs include:

  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Azaleas
  • Amaryllis

Pet owners have to worry about more than just flowers. Hundreds of common houseplants and garden plants are toxic for your animal. Here are the 10 most common toxic plants in Austin, TX.

  1. Mountain Laurel
  2. Ivy
  3. Poinsettia
  4. Oleander
  5. Mushrooms
  6. Onions and Garlic
  7. Lilles
  8. Grape Plants
  9. Sago Palm
  10. Pokeweed

Fence Around Your Swimming Pool or Ponds

If you have a swimming pool or a pond as part of your landscape, you need to take some extra precautions. Yes, dogs can typically swim, but falling into a pond or a pool can be deadly for your pet.

Pet owners should teach their pets how to get out of their pools from the time they’re little in case they ever fall in accidentally. It could save their lives!

Make Sure to Secure Trash Cans

Do you have your trash can sitting on the side of your house awaiting trash pick-up day? Most of us do, but that can be hazardous to your dog. Make sure the trash cans are secured with appropriately fitting and locking lids.

Dogs are curious, and the smell of old food is appealing. He will happily take a bite of that old burger without realizing its soaked in old cleaning supplies.

Avoid Using Chemicals Near Your Pets

Insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers may perform an important job for you, but they can be toxic for your pet. If you do decide to use them, keep your pet away from the lawn when it’s recently been treated. Dogs and cats should never walk on freshly sprayed lawns. Put your animal in another area for a few days.

Ideally, you wouldn’t treat the areas that your pet will spend his time. That prevents your pets from accidentally ingesting any of the chemicals. Dogs do sometimes decide to eat grass.

Most importantly, be sure all of these chemicals are locked up out of your pet’s reach. Put them in your shed or garage. A dog would happily take a drink of some chemicals spilled all over the floor.

Check Fences for Loose Spots

If your yard is fenced, that’s a huge bonus! Fences keep your pets safe and prevent them from running away. Puppies and dogs need plenty of exercise. A dog or little puppy can easily find a small gap or hole in your fence that you may not notice. So, it’s important for you to regularly check your fence to make sure it’s secure for your animals.

Mow Your Lawn Regularly

Tall grass can be a haven for ticks and snakes to hide. While most snakes aren’t venomous, a few poisonous snakes do call Austin, TX home like the Western diamondback rattlesnake.

Make sure you mow your grass regularly and remove any branches that are laying around. Clear out debris often. Ticks can be harmful to your dogs! Plus, fleas love tall grass. Unlike other parts of the nation, Austin doesn’t have a specific flea season. Austin doesn’t have multiple days of below-freezing temperatures or extended dry conditions, so fleas can survive year-round. That means you need to pay attention to your pets to be sure they’re flea-free and cut your grass regularly.

Set Up Barriers

It would be nice if Fido understood walking in your new garden bed is a bad idea, but they have no concept of that. Owners have the responsibility of deciding what areas are off-limits by creating physical reminders.

You can do this by making walls, fences, or pieces of wood to create a makeshift fence around the areas you want your pet to stay away from. Another idea is planting tall, native grasses or bushes. Make sure the plants that you pick aren’t poisonous.

Designate the Bathroom Area for Your Dog

Grass will turn brown and die in the area that your dog uses the bathroom. Rather than having random spots throughout your entire lawn, pick a spot where you want your dog to do his business.

Keep the grass in that area well watered and longer than the other parts of your yard because it helps dilute the urine and hide the brown spots. Some smart pet owners create a bathroom area hidden behind a fence or a wall so guests don’t notice.

You could also hardscape the area where your dog does his business. Hardscaping would make it easier for you to scoop up feces and spray urine away with a hose!

Keep Your Animals Safe by Pet-Proofing

Pet owners have the responsibility of keeping their animals safe and sound in their environments. Dogs and some cats are adventurous outside, so you have to pay special attention to how you’ll handle your landscape and yard.

The most important thing is to avoid anything that could be toxic to your animal. That means be sure that your flowers and plants aren’t toxic to animals. If you aren’t sure, talk to your vet. Keep all of the chemicals out of their reach, stored inside a shed or garage ideally.

Last, always watch for dangers. That could be a loose fence board or a pond that you think is beautiful. Landscaping and pets can mix harmoniously with a little planning on your end.

Looking for more lawn care tips? Visit our Austin lawn care page for more information about everything lawn-related.

author avatar

Written by Wikilawn

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

More Resources