For the ultimate dog lover in search of the most dog-friendly city, look no further than St. Petersburg, Florida. For pet care, residents have access to the fifth-highest number of pet stores and vet offices (84.5 for every 10,000 establishments). You’ll also find roughly 18 dog shops (third-highest among all cities in the study) and 134 dog-friendly restaurants (39th-highest out of 97 cities).
Bought a house so your dog could have their dream yard? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A survey by Realtor.com revealed that nearly 95% of pet owners consider the needs of their furry friends when shopping for a new home. When curating a dog-friendly dwelling, there are factors to consider for their comfort and safety.
Check out these tips for creating a pet-friendly yard sure to make tails wag.
1. Plant Non-Toxic Flora and Fauna Dog owners know that anything outside – from sticks to plants – is susceptible to becoming a snack. That’s why it’s important to plant flowers and plants that are non-toxic to dogs. The Pet Poison Hotline identifies the top ten plants that are poisonous to pets as: Autumn Crocus, Azalea, Cyclamen, Kalanchoe, Lilies, Oleander, Dieffenbachia, Daffodils, Lily of the Valley, Sago Palm, and Tulips and Hyacinths. Other common plants that may be toxic to pets include Peony, Geranium, and more. This goes for fertilizer and mulch, too. When purchasing lawn fertilizer, opt for a choice that is deemed pet safe. And when choosing a type of mulch, avoid cocoa bean mulch – a darker, round shape made from cocoa beans – as it is toxic to dogs.
2. Create a Potty Spot Looking to protect the lawn from the perils of dog business? Use absorbent material like turf or mulch to carve out a space as a designated potty spot. Plus, keep pet-safe patch-up products on hand for when inevitable dead spots of grass do arise.
3. Invest in Secure Fencing Fencing a yard is often a steep cost, but can be worth it for your pet’s safety – and your own peace of mind. Consider the design and height of fence depending on what type of dog you have, and how prone they are to escape. While it's a safe choice for pets and children alike, a fenced-in yard can also potentially increase your home's resale value.
4. Provide Shade Summer isn’t quite over yet – and for those who live in warmer climates, temps can stay high year-round. This makes it essential to provide some form of shade in the yard in order for your dog to enjoy the outdoors without overheating.
5. Have the Right Tools on Hand
Consider yard accessories to make your pup’s experience more enjoyable – and your care for them a bit easier. Invest in items like an outdoor water bowl for hydration, a paw-wipe station to get rid of mud, and a potty scoop tool to make yard cleanup easier.
Written byLEAH CURTIS