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When creating an outdoor space for your pet, it’s important for the area to be as safe as it is fun for you, your pet, and your family. This is especially true if you are planning on allowing your furry friend and kids to play on their own in the yard without supervision. There are some basics that you may be familiar with, like the need to provide plenty of shade in the summer and a warm dog house in the winter, but there are several other components about the yard itself that you need to prepare that are a bit easier to overlook. Here are four tactics to get you started.

Proper Drainage

Arrange your yard so that it has proper drainage throughout or find ways to exclude your pet from swampy areas. A soggy yard will make your pet muddy and wet, but it could also make him sick. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, many of whom carry heartworm. Bacteria also abounds in standing water, some of which can be fatal. Getting rid of standing water also gets rid of these health risks.

Govern Your Garden

Take an inventory of your landscaping before sharing your lawn with fur babies. Some popular plant species are toxic to animals, so you’ll need to make sure they aren’t accessible to your pet. Azaleas and lilies, for example, are best kept away from both dogs and cats. When you look at your garden, look for toxins other than just the plants themselves. Fertilizers and insect repellents are potentially toxic, as is cocoa mulch.

Mending Fences

Before you let your pet roam the yard, make sure you can keep him in it. Sometimes a simple chain link fence with a latching gate is all you need. Some dogs will dig under a fence, however, so make sure your fence runs far enough underground to stop them. Others are climbers and need a smooth fence they can’t get over. To keep cats at home, the top of your fence needs to slant inward at least 45 degrees. Make sure you reach out to a professional, Diamond Fence (Aust) Pty Ltd, if need be, to mend or improve your fence.

Pest Control

Fleas, ticks and snakes are three common backyard pests your pet could come into contact with. Deter snakes by eliminating wood piles and fallen leaves. These areas give the snake cover and look inviting to unwanted guests. Flea and tick prevention is also important. Minimize the risk of harboring these pests by keeping your grass mowed at all times and treating the lawn with a nontoxic flea and tick repellent. Treat your pet, too, with one of the many repellents on the market. Most now last up to three months at a time and are easy to apply.

Creating a backyard paradise for your pets is not a difficult task, but it does require a bit of thought and planning. It’s worth the effort, however, to ensure that you and your pet have a safe space to play in.