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Cultivating Green Space for City Pets: Creating a Garden Oasis for Your Dog or Cat

Create a garden oasis for your city-dwelling pet with our tips on pet-safe plants, cozy seating, and interactive elements. Transform your indoor or small outdoor space into a tranquil, pet-friendly retreat.

dog being cuddled by dad and son outside

Living in the city doesn't mean you can't provide a little slice of nature for your curious copilot. Creating an indoor garden oasis or small outdoor haven is not only a beautiful addition to your urban dwelling, but it also offers a serene, calming environment for both you and your pet.

Even the smallest balcony, patio, or rooftop garden can become a safe and enjoyable retreat for your dog or cat.

Let's explore why greenery is important for your pet and the steps to transform your space into a garden oasis that your dog or cat can enjoy.

Why are green spaces important for city pets?

In bustling urban environments, pets can often experience sensory overload and limited access to natural surroundings. Providing a garden or green space for city-dwelling pets is essential for their overall well-being, as it offers a calm and soothing sanctuary amidst the city chaos.

Exposure to nature promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and encourages healthy behaviors such as exploration and play.

By offering pets an opportunity to connect with nature, pet parents can ensure their dogs and cats thrive emotionally, mentally, and physically, fostering a happier and healthier life in the big city.

Steps to create a small-space, pet-friendly garden

Step 1: Choose the right space

small dog-friendly balcony

When planning your pet-friendly garden space, consider what you have available. Pick an area that receives plenty of natural light and has room for your plants and pet to coexist. It could be a sunny corner, a spare room, or even an underutilized balcony.

Step 2: Select pet-safe plants

Cat relaxing in indoor garden

To ensure your garden oasis is safe for your pet, it's crucial to choose non-toxic plants. Some popular pet-friendly options include spider plants, Boston ferns, and African violets. Do your research to ensure the plants you select are both attractive and safe for your furry friend.

Step 3: Incorporate comfortable seating

Dog relaxing on back patio couch

Create a welcoming space for you and your pet to unwind together by adding comfortable seating. A cozy chair or cushioned floor seating can encourage you to spend time in your garden, enjoying the benefits of your green oasis with your soulful sidekick.

Step 4: Add a pet-friendly water feature

dog playing with water fountain

A small water feature can elevate your indoor or outdoor garden oasis while providing a source of fresh water for your pet. Consider adding a pet-friendly water fountain, which not only creates a soothing ambiance but also encourages your dog or cat to stay hydrated.

Step 5: Make it fun and interactive

cat scratch pad

It's important to include elements that encourage play and interaction for your pet within the garden space. For dogs, consider adding a few toys or a designated play area with a soft mat or artificial grass. For cats, incorporate cat-friendly elements like a scratching post, climbing shelves, or hanging toys to keep them entertained and engaged.

Step 6: Set the mood with lighting

indoor plant room

Proper lighting can transform your indoor garden oasis into a calming retreat. Opt for soft, warm lighting to create a cozy atmosphere. Consider using string lights or LED candles to achieve the perfect ambiance for you and your pet to enjoy.

Step 7: Maintain air quality

cat sitting among plants

Good air quality is essential for both you and your pet's well-being. Certain plants, like butterfly palms and Boston ferns, are known for their air-purifying qualities. You can also consider using an air purifier to keep your indoor garden oasis fresh and clean.

Step 8: Keep it clean and organized

outdoor small space patio

A well-kept space is crucial for creating a relaxing environment. Regularly clean your garden oasis, indoor or outdoor, by wiping down surfaces, sweeping or vacuuming, and pruning your plants as needed. Maintaining a clean and organized space will ensure your garden remains a peaceful haven for you and your pet.

Step 9: Ensure the area is secure

cat-friendly patio

Safety should be a top priority when creating an outdoor space for your pet. Check that railings are secure and there are no gaps through which your pet could escape. For added peace of mind, consider installing a pet gate or barrier to prevent your dog or cat from accidentally wandering off.

Step 10: Create a pet potty area

puppy laying in small patch of grass on balcony

By allocating a designated area with easy-to-clean surfaces like artificial grass, puppy pads, or a pet-friendly litter box, you can ensure your pet has a comfortable and convenient spot to relieve themselves. This practical solution not only promotes hygiene but also saves time and makes life easier for both you and your pet in an urban environment.

Step 11: Provide shade and shelter

dog sitting on patio with shade

Ensure your outdoor space offers shade and shelter from the elements. This can be achieved by adding a small umbrella, awning, or even a canopy to protect your pet from harsh sunlight, rain, or wind.


Creating an indoor or outdoor garden oasis for your city-dwelling dog or cat is a beautiful way to bring the tranquility of nature to your urban home.

By choosing pet-safe plants, incorporating comfortable seating, adding interactive elements, and focusing on the ambiance, you can create a serene space where both you and your pet can unwind and connect. Embrace the benefits of a nature-rich space and enjoy the calming presence it brings to your city home.

Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.

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