Most people have experienced an annoying cat or dog. One of the major causes of many neighborhood disputes is cats and dogs roaming around and creating trouble. A lot of animal lovers will dedicate a section or the entirety of their yard to their pets, but not everybody has a synthetic turf lawn that can stand up to cats and dogs.
The easiest way to protect your yard from wandering cats and dogs is keep pets out all together. Here, we’ll take you through some of the common reasons to do so, and how you can prevent animals from damaging your garden.
5 Reasons to Keep Dogs Out of Your Yard
Dogs are man’s best friend, but that doesn’t mean they’re welcome in neighbor’s yards. Similarly to pests and vermin, there are some very good reasons people want to keep pets from roaming their lawns and gardens.
1. Dogs Can Be a Safety Concern
The main difficulty with an unattended dog roaming around a neighborhood is their unpredictability. A dog that appears sweet and nice might become aggressive when it’s confronted with something unknown, like other animals and strangers.
2. Dogs Do Their Business Away From Home
Nobody likes having to clean up dog waste, especially if it’s not your dog, and especially if it’s on your shoes. Keeping dogs away keeps their waste byproducts away.
3. Dogs Might Dig in Your Yard or Garden
This one goes without saying. When there’s a dog in your yard or garden, it might start digging up your plants or flowers, especially if it’s a terrier breed. Dogs love to dig for a number of reasons:
- Curiosity – “What’s under all that dirt? Did somebody bury a bone? They must find out!”
- Hunger – “Something smells good. I wonder if it’s edible. Better check!”
- Boredom – Sometimes they just need something new to sniff to do other than nap, eat, and chew.
4. Dogs Might Chew On, or Destroy Your Property
This is a big one. If you have an open fencing structure or yard ornamentation, a dog coming in and chewing it up is a pain to have to fix or replace. It’s easy to avoid by keeping them out.
5. Dogs Might Make Your Pets Anxious
It goes without saying that cats and dogs don’t get along. Some dogs don’t get along with other dogs or can be territorial. This can make pets nervous and cause adverse or unhealthy behaviors like aggression, over grooming, bathroom accidents, and over or under eating.
3 Reasons to Keep the Cats Out of Your Yard
Most people get why neighbors don’t like other dogs in their yards, but why keep cats away? They’re pretty inconspicuous, right? Well, they’re not quite as inconspicuous as you might think.
1. Cats are Predators to Local Wildlife
Cats have contributed to the extinction of 63 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles in the wild and continue to adversely impact a wide variety of other species. In the United States alone, cats kill approximately 2.4 billion birds every year. If you have bird houses, baths, or feeders, cats are probably attracted to them.
2. Cats Kill Plants
Cats will dig up gardens to use them as either a litter box or in pursuit of prey or just fun and games, which can cause damage to the plants and disrupt seedlings. Additionally, gardeners and cat owners have both reported how cats seem to have an affinity for chewing on or lying on plants, consequently crushing and killing them.
3. Cats Can Create Pet Anxiety
Cats are territorial, and they will mark their territory, which can create problems for other pets when they encounter the marking. This can lead to your pets over or under eating, hair loss and over grooming, not using the litter box, aggressive behavior, and destroying furniture.
Reasons Pets Go into Other People’s Yards
Why do cats and dogs go into other people’s yards? The most common reasons that animals go a’viking is that they’re bored and interested in:
- Exploring new sights and smells
- Seeking attention or companionship
- Seeking food
How to Keep Cats & Dogs off Your Lawn
One of the best ways to keep animals away from your property is to send messages that none of those needs will be met in your yard.
Don’t Attract Them
One of the best ways to keep animals out of your yard is to not motivate them to enter it. Animals are attracted to three things:
- Hiding places
Try your best to remove potential food sources and standing water from your property. This includes sealing and securing trash cans, and removing bird feeders and baths. Bird feeders attract a variety of animals, which attracts the attention of cats and dogs.
Like people, sometimes cats and dogs just need to get away and have some quiet alone time, but they may not always be able to get that in their yard. Other yards could have a variety of new smells and things to explore, and shrubs and structures to hide in, hide under, or hide behind.
Build a Fence
Fences can keep out most animals, but if they really want in, they can jump or climb over it, dig under it, or even tear through it. Consider a tall fence, and also consider extending the fence underground. A good choice of material is a chain link or other type of fence that doesn’t have gaps that are large enough to squeeze through. Unfortunately, building a fence can be a big project that not everyone is prepared to invest in completing just to keep dogs out of the yard, especially when there are other faster and cheaper solutions to consider.
Plant Spiky Shrubbery
Similarly to fences, prickly or thorny plants can be planted around the perimeter of your lawn to install a natural barrier against dog invaders. Cats being as small and nimble as they are, may not be as deterred by this as dogs are. Plants like holly, rose bushes, and agave are a few options.
Repellents can come in a number of forms, and be purchased from a store, or they could be common household items.
Where can you buy dog repellent?
Repellent for dogs and cats can be found at pet stores, vet clinics, and garden stores. General animal repellents can be purchased at garden stores and hardware stores, but those options have potential to harm pets, so it is best to stick to repellents specifically designated for dogs and cats. There are also a number of products you may already have in your home that you can put to use at keeping cats and dogs off your lawn.
How to use dog repellents?
Repellents come in many different forms: sprays, powders, pellets, electronic devices, and even live plants. Repellents, no matter in what form, typically should be placed around the entire perimeter of the yard. Additionally, it is also wise to place repellents next to or surrounding a specific area you are trying to protect, such as a flower garden, sand box, or koi pond. Make sure to always read through all product directions before use, and follow all instructions accordingly.
These products usually come as sprays or powders, and you can often find them at pet shops and garden supply stores. There are numerous scents manufacturers use to drive dogs and cats away, and most products contain natural ingredients.
What ingredients are in a commercial-made dog repellent?
Many repellents employ an unpleasant scent to protect a wide area, while others are contact specific repellents that taste bad to prevent biting, chewing, and licking.
Scent based repellents may have pheromones or other scents that communicate to other animals to stay away. Some repellents actually include the urine of predators, the smell of which scares away dogs and cats. Other repellents are meant to have a bitter taste that dogs dislike, and typically contain a bittering agent, such as an acid in vinegar or citrus fruits.
Motion Activated Sprinklers
These serve double duty; they water the yard and scare away dogs, cats, and other animals. Strategically place them around the perimeter of the lawn, where animals enter your yard, or by a garden you’re trying to protect. They hook up to a hose, and most are spiked into the ground. Many are solar powered, while some use batteries. Some are programmable, so they are only activated during preset times, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally spraying people as they walk by. While these are extremely effective, you may get wet if you forget about them.
Ultrasonic repellers can be used to annoy and scare away a variety of animals by emitting a high frequency sound. Some ultrasonic repellents are also motion-activated. You can mount the mechanism onto a shed, tree, or fence. As the animal approaches, it will trigger the sensors, causing the repellent to emit sonic and ultrasonic sound waves that are intended to bother the animal that’s approaching. Human ears can’t hear the sound, but animals sure do, and they don’t like it.
Use Scents & Natural Repellents
In addition to commercial repellents, there are also a number of home remedies and DIY solutions to help keep cats and dogs off your lawn.
Prepare a mixture of water and baking soda by combining approximately one cup of baking soda per gallon of water. Apply around the perimeter and where the dog has urinated. Repeat at least twice per week. As an added bonus, baking soda will also protect plants from the damage caused by dog urine. Another option is to spray undiluted vinegar around the perimeter of the lawn creating a sort of invisible fence that drives off both dogs and cats.
Cats dislike the smell of rue, lavender and pennyroyal, coleus canina, and lemon thyme. Plant a few of these throughout the garden and around the perimeter to discourage cats from venturing further. Dogs are generally bothered by the smell of lavender, even though it is a rather pleasant plant for humans.
How Not to Keep Dogs Off your lawn
A quick internet search for remedies to repel dogs will result in a number of home remedies that are actually harmful or even potentially toxic to them. Common “DIY repellents” that are actually harmful or potentially toxic to dogs include:
- Cayenne pepper
Dogs will put just about anything in their mouth, and they will typically proceed to swallow more things than they will spit back out. Even if a substance is toxic to them, dogs may still ingest it, and they can become seriously ill. Certain substances can cause irritation from contact with skin, so be mindful of what products you use and where you put them.
Dogs doing their business and digging in yards can cause disputes, but that’s nothing compared to the disputes over vet bills.
Get a Turf Lawn
A turf lawn won’t prevent animals from entering your yard, but turf is durable and pet-friendly. It doesn’t turn yellow if animals do their business on it, and it can’t be dug up or eaten. On top of that, turf is low-maintenance and requires no watering, mowing, weeding, or fertilizing to keep it looking good, which can increase the curb appeal and property value for the whole neighborhood.
If you have a problem with pets going in your yard, talk to your neighbors, they’re the first line of defense in keeping their pets from wandering where they shouldn’t. If you continue to have a problem with cats and dogs making a mess of your yard, make sure you do your research, ask animal control or a vet, or get in touch with the local HOA if you have one. There are many ways to keep pets out of yards and neighborhood disputes to a minimum, including installing a turf lawn. Contact us today to get started with turf.