Pets love to be outdoors. A happy chicken roams freely around the garden, but are they safe? Even when secured in a coop, this can cause a threat by containing disease in an enclosed area. Unhygienic garden features and poisonous plants are a threat to your beloved pets. From fox resistant chicken coops to spotless fountains, learn how to create a garden that is both clean and safe to put you at ease.
Without regularly cleaning your garden, your pet could be exposed to all kinds of health hazards. Animals will happily drink from any water source given the opportunity, but dirty water may contain microscopic protozoan organisms, which damage digestion and over extended periods of time can poison the kidneys and the liver. Since pets will struggle to differentiate their water bowl from a fountain, learn to regularly and properly clean your water feature. Make sure any ponds or pools are also kept clean.
Furthermore, take note of the cleaners that you use. Chicken coops should be cleaned daily to stop the risk of disease spreading, but bear in mind that the cleaners themselves may be poisonous. Any products containing ammonia, bleach or chlorine are toxic to animals and, in large quantities, can be fatal when ingested. Instead, search for natural cleaners that don’t contain toxic chemicals.
When it comes to safety in the garden, you must first make sure that it is secure. While your cat may be happy to explore the world beyond the garden independently, other pets such as dogs, rabbits and chickens must be contained.
Chicken wire is the perfect material for closing small gaps so that even the smallest animals cannot escape. However, a solid wooden fence offers more deterrence, as it serves as a clear boundary and reduces the chance of temptation from next door.
Hedges and flower beds also make it more difficult for animals to find a way out, but be careful to ensure they are not poisonous. The list of poisonous plants is long and includes many common plants such as ivy and daffodils. Whilst these are unlikely to cause serious problems, they are best avoided altogether to prevent any accidents. Peckish pets have become very ill and even died from simply nibbling at a poisonous plant.
The garden is where your pet and domestic animals are happiest, but it is your responsibility as an owner to secure it. The less toxic chemicals you use, the better it is for their health. When designing your garden, take your pets needs into account, as it is as much for their benefit as it is for yours.