If you don't have a large yard, you can set up a sod box to provide your pets with their own slice of nature. A sod box is a raised garden bed filled to the brim with rows of sod. Pets that crave greenery do not need flowing acres of grass to feel satisfied with their time outdoors. In fact, just a little bit of grass goes a long way in keeping the four following pets happy with life.
Although dogs will eliminate on gravel surfaces, most are happier to use a grass pad as their potty box. Teach your dog to eliminate in the confines of the sod box to keep waste confined and make potty training easier. When dogs have a specific place to urinate and defecate, they naturally gravitate to that area to do their business. Keep the grass short with a push mower and clean out the sod box a few times a week to keep your dogs heading back there on their own.
Chickens love to pick and dig between grass blades to dig up tasty insects as snacks. Chickens eat insect eggs, larva and adults of all kinds. If you place a sod box near the coop, you might notice your birds heading that way often to dig up a delicious treat. Keep the grass long to encourage grasshoppers and spiders to take up residence there. During heavy rains, you may even notice earthworms coming up through the soil to escape pooling water on the compacted soil alongside the sod box.
Cats love to stalk their prey before pouncing dramatically out into the open. Tall grasses in the sod box allow cats to practice their hunting skills in style. Although your cat may only be stalking you or other felines in the house, this activity helps develop life skills that could be beneficial in the future. Furthermore, it keeps cats entertained and wears them out for a quiet nighttime routine.
Rabbits stretch out to rest their bellies on cool grass during hot days to keep from overheating. Rabbits also like to nibble on luscious grass blades to soothe their stomach and fill up on fibrous material. The extra fiber helps rabbits avoid a serious case of diarrhea that could lead to dehydration or sores on the feet. Make sure to keep the grass clipped short to keep a close eye on your bunny. If you do not have a completely fenced yard, keep your rabbit on a harness to keep this vulnerable prey animal out of trouble.
Creating The Box
If you already have a raised garden bed in your yard, creating the sod box is as easy as removing the weeds, replacing the soil and applying the sod. If you don't have a raised bed, you'll need to build one from scratch.
Begin by gathering up the supplies, which include:
- 1 - 4x4 inch plastic sheet
- 4 - Four foot long 2x6 inch boards
- 4 - Metal corner brackets
- 1 - Pack of one inch drywall screws
- 2 - Rolls of sod
- 3 - Bags of garden soil
Also, grab your drill and bit set, staple gun and shovel to start this simple job.
Stand up the boards on their two-inch ends to create a square shape. Place a bracket on the inside of each corner and attach the boards together using the drywall screws. Staple the plastic sheet to the bottom of the sod box frame and flip it over.
Position the box in the desired area before filling it to the top with soil. Lay out the sod and cut it to fit with the pointy end of the shovel. Press it down and water the soil every other day to help roots grow deep into the planter box. After establishing root growth, you can welcome your animals onto the sod box to check out their new elimination device, play area or snack container.