cute puppy playing in fenced backyard.

With summer in full swing, there’s never been a better time to get outside with your dog—or even your cat. The team at Sunrise Boulevard Animal Hospital has a few tips to share for turning your outdoor space into a pet-friendly yard. 

Ready to make pawsome memories?

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3 Tips for Creating a Pet-Friendly Yard

#1. Make Secure Fencing a Priority 

If you don’t already have a fence, now might be the time to get one installed. This is one of the best ways to make sure you and your pet can enjoy summer fun outside together. The fence should be high enough to keep your dog or cat from leaping out to join adventures in your neighborhood. 

And yes, cat-proof fences exist! If you’re installing a fence for the first time, consider a privacy-style vinyl fence that’s at least 7-8 feet tall. Your kitties’ claws can’t grip vinyl very well, and the height means she can’t take giant leaps over the fence.

For cat owners who already have a fence and don’t want to rip it out and replace it (expensive!), there’s another solution: cat fence extender kits. These clever fence extenders curve inward, meaning Kitty would have to hang upside down to climb over it. (Just make sure the fencing extends to cover any potential window ledges or trees that might provide an escape route).

Cats do not like to hang upside down and struggle to go from being upside down to climbing over the lip of the fence. These kits are a game-changer for pet parents who want their cats to enjoy safe outdoor time. 

Fencing should also be free of gaps or weak spots. This way, you can relax knowing your pets are secure while they play. And, since we live in California, consider snake-proofing your yard with wire mesh. Just keep in mind that mesh with ½-inch squares won’t keep the smallest rattlers out, but ¼-inch mesh squares will. 

#2. Choose Pet-Friendly Landscaping 

From Sago palms and azaleas to tulips and lilies, plenty of popular plants are toxic to dogs and cats. Evaluate the landscaping in your yard to make sure any poisonous plants are well out of reach of your furry friends. 

You can also replace toxic plants with ones that are safe for feline and canine pets alike. Magnolia trees can replace Sago palms. Camellia and hibiscus are beautiful alternatives to azaleas, and so on. 

With pet-friendly plants in your yard, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when it comes to outdoor pet safety. 

#3. Provide Plenty of Water and Shade

Summers in Citrus Heights can get scorching hot. Your pets will need plenty of shady areas outside where they—and you!—can relax without overheating. Keep fresh water in a stainless steel bowl so it stays cool. 

Other elements of landscaping can get dangerously hot for sensitive paws, like asphalt and concrete. Consider covering your hottest walking surfaces with artificial turf mats to protect your pals. 

Don’t Forget to Play  

Now that you know how to create a pet-safe yard, it’s time to have fun out there with Fido and Kitty. Scatter favorite toys throughout the yard for them to play with. Fill a kiddie pool with cool water and splash around with your pet. Install a mini agility course for a fun challenge. 

Have more questions about how to help your pets stay safe, happy, and healthy in the summer? Call us at 916-758-9442 or schedule an appointment with our caring team.