Our outdoor garden is an extention of our home and needs to be appropriate for all the household members, including our pets. We are quick to think of safety measures for our children and our pets deserve the same attention. There are many dangers for pets in the garden arena from the plants themselves to the products we use.
Oviously the best appraoch for every one is to garden organically. This in itself removes most of the problems you might encounter. For those other times, these tips will help you to keep your pets safe and happy when they are enjoying the green space you have provided.
Probably the best idea is to have a large pen that pets can roam around safely. Otherwise they should always be supervised.
Listed here are a few of the obvious dangers that our gardens pose to our furry best friends:
TOXIC PEST CONTROLS
Many gardeners have problems with slugs, rodents and even ants. Better to use traps than chemicals. All of these products are highly toxic to your pets. If using poisons ensure your pets cannot capture and eat the poisoned pests such as mice, moles or gophers.
Yes, even your decomposing compost can be a hazard. As the compost rots down molds grow that release toxins which are dangerous to pets. Ensure your pets cannot access your compost.
TOXIC COMPOUNDS used on plants.
Fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides must always be kept in sealed containers and stored in an area that your pets cannot reach. Your pets are curious and some of these products are tempting for them as they smell and may even taste good. If you must treat an area with any of these products your pets should be kept away from the treated area for a few days. Read the instructions carefully always. Better yet, practice organic meathods of gardening. Even then, products used should be kept away from pets.
POISONOUS GARDEN PLANTS
Many plants that we regularly grow are poisonous to our pets causing severe stomach and intestinal effects. The list is very long but here are some of the more common poisonous plants to watch out for:
TREES & SHRUBS: Peony, Apple, Boxwood, Apricot, Azalea, Bittersweet Vine, Holly, Yew, Rhodos, Burning Bush, Clematis, Wisteria, Hibiscus, Yucca, English Ivy , Hibiscus
ANNUALS & PERENNIALS: Lily of the Valley, Bishop’s Weed, Castor Bean, Sweet Pea, Amaryllis, Rhubarb, Morning Glory, Geranium, Hosta, Dahlia, Periwinkle, Yarrow, Hellebore, Tomato, Buttercup, Chamomile, Yarrow, Foxglove, Begonia
Another group of plants that have gained great popularity lately but can be problimatic is succulents. Jacki from Drought Smart Plants has a very informative article on Euphorbias.
Another huge topic regarding pets and gardens is waste disposal. Stephanie from Garden Therapy has a great solution and complete instructions for creating a flushable dog run.