It’s spring! With the bank holiday nearly upon us there will be home owners across the country getting stuck into the garden ready for summer. That’s wonderful and if you’ve got a dog or cat, you should have a think about any plants or garden chemicals that will be harmful to your furry friend. Here are our tips for safe gardening with pets:
PLANTS CAN BE TOXIC TO ANIMALS
Some plants that seem completely harmless to us humans might be toxic or even fatal to your dog or cat. For example aloe vera can cause diarrhoea, avocado seeds, bluebells and daffodil bulbs are also harmful to dogs. There are even some common garden plants such as daisies, ferns, ivy, bluebells and poppies that can be fatal to your dog.
Please check with your vet for a full list of garden and house plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs.
GARDEN CHEMICALS AND SUBSTANCES HARMFUL TO DOGS
Any snail baits that contain an ingredient called ‘metaldehyde’ is extremely poisonous to dogs and cats. Personally I just avoid using snail or slug killers. Whilst snails do carry lungworm that infects dogs and it’s important to keep your garden slug free, lungworm is more common in the South of Britain so you should talk to your vet about prevention. We try to use grit and salt as safer methods of repelling slugs from our garden.
Pesticides, insecticides these are all forms of poison and just because it’s labelled as ‘environmentally friendly’ on the packaging doesn’t mean it’s safe. Check the ingredients and look out for anything with carbamates, organophosphates as these are active ingredients which are harmful to your pets.
If you must use any of these chemicals and weed killers, ensure that your dogs bowls, toys and anything they pick up are out of the way. Ensure that you remove your dog or cat from the yard when you’re applying weed killers and make sure it’s completely dry before you allow them back into the garden. Once the chemical is dry and down to the roots of your weeds it ‘should’ be dog safe but we say that through gritted teeth.
Go online and with popular retailers such as Amazon you can search for ‘safe weed killer for pets’ and find alternative options. Make sure you fully read the labels and ingredients, if in any doubt discuss with your vet.
TIPS FOR DOG SAFE GARDENING
Puppies are at a particular risk as they are still exploring the world and as you know, mostly with their mouths. They’re also smaller in size so at more risk of poisoning. Training your pets not to chew plants, giving them their own chew toys are a good starting point but prevention is better than cure.
Where to plant is a big one. Our male, Lex enjoys ‘patrolling’ the perimeter so we have ‘plant free’ areas around the boundaries and fence. Instead, we put plants higher up or even better, in hanging baskets.
If you’re out and about and you suffer from hay fever yourself, please make sure you keep your antihistamine tablets away from your dogs.