If you are searching for ways to protect plants from pets, no worries here. Your plant pot is upside down. The soil is dug up. The remnants of your favorite leafy plant are spilled all over the carpet.
This isn’t what you wanted to see before heading out for work in the morning.
And you know exactly who did it. Your eyes glance toward the culprit and see the evidence written all over their face.
Standing nearby with a solemn expression, as if he feels the guilt of their wrongdoings, your dog is licking his dirty paws with an even dirtier snout. And then it all makes sense.
You should’ve done more to shield your plant from demise.
But what can you do to protect your plants from pets?
Let’s find out.
How to Pet-Proof Your Plants: 5 Best Tips
As your survey the aftermath of your once-flourishing plant, it becomes clear that you urgently need a new strategy to prevent further casualties.
Here are 5 simple yet effective tactics to defend your foliage from the curious claws and playful paws of your pets:
Use a Pet Repellent
Safeguard your plants and harness the might of pet repellents. Since we know our furry friends’ sense of smell is highly developed, use scents to train your pet to do what you want them to.
If you haven’t used a pet repellent before, here’s what you should do:
⦁ Determine a scent your pet does not like
⦁ Buy or make your own repellent with the scent
⦁ Spray the repellent on your plants
⦁ Notice how your pet acts around it
If you don’t know which smells your pet dislikes, try citrus first. Although dogs and cats should have a healthy dose of Vitamin C in their diet, they don’t like the smell of citrus fruits. And you can use this to your advantage.
Concoct your own deterrent by diluting a bit of lemon juice and spraying the leaves. And if your pets have turned the pots into excavation sites, put some lemon and orange peels on the soil to further discourage digging.
Watch Your Pets
Vigilance is key While it may be impossible to find blame in your pet’s innocent eyes, they might be up to no good. So, maintain a watchful eye over your fur ball’s interaction with your plants.
Don’t let your pets roam around the home unsupervised. Now, this doesn’t mean you should loom over them every minute of every day. But you also shouldn’t let them out of your sight for long until you’re 100% sure they’ve lost interest in your plants. Their curiosity often gets the best of them, especially when they’re puppies or kittens.
Observe how your animal behaves around greenery. If you’re confident they’ve outgrown their play-with-everything phase, gradually grant them access to other areas of the home. In the end, the most important thing is keeping both your pets and your plants away from harm.
Keep Plants Out of Reach
Time for some creative rearranging.
Ensure both your plants and pets are safe by keeping your foliage beyond your pets’ reach. If most of your greenery is bound to the floor, decorate with artificial hanging plants or faux green walls a few inches from the ground (more if you have pouncing cats).
Fake plants are a great way to keep your home green while also being completely safe for pets. Although switching things around can be a hassle, it’s the best way to ensure your greenery stays out of paw’s way.
Aside from this, you can designate certain rooms as off-limits to your pets. This way, your plants can enjoy a serene, uninterrupted existence. And so can you.
Train Your Pets
The best way to solve the problem is by rooting it out from the beginning.
Nurturing well-behaved pets involves a precarious blend of positive reinforcement, discouragement, and laying down the law from the bat.
If you’re already training your pet to obey basic commands (which you should), start teaching them how to behave around your plants. Reward good behavior (like ignoring plants) with treats, toys, and heaps of cuddles. Alternatively, steer them away from destructive tendencies in a gentle but resolute manner.
Do not in any way resort to violence and hit or yell at your pet. This won’t yield positive results. It will sow seeds of trauma and trigger them to act out in other situations.
Puppies and kittens are naturally curious and like to chew on everything. So, always choose patience and consistency when training. The more you repeat the lesson, the faster they will learn it.
Remove Toxic Plants
Last but not least, let’s talk about the perilous presence of toxic plants.
We’d be loath to ignore the damage toxic plants can do to your furry friends. It’s time to sniff out whether your pets are also safe from your plants.
Some types of plants can prove fatal for your pets. Some of the most frequently encountered toxic plants include:
⦁ Asparagus Fern
⦁ Desert Rose
⦁ English Ivy
Since this isn’t a complete list, please refer to the ASPCA’s guide for plants toxic to cats and dogs whenever you need to double-check.
Before buying a new plant, do thorough research to ensure it doesn’t pose a threat to your pet. And before bringing home a new furry companion, document the types of plants you already keep and make sure they’re not on the list. Your pet’s safety should always be your priority, so stay sharp.
After including these tactics, the toppled pots and guilty looks will give way to a space where pets and plants can live and grow together.
This new harmonious coexistence will be a testament to your determination to protect two things you love dearly. Suddenly, the unwanted morning surprises will morph into a peaceful routine you’ll be happy to maintain.