With the first day of spring approaching, we offer answers to an important question for pet-loving gardeners. Follow these tips to ensure your pet enjoys a fun and safe playtime outdoors.
A pet-safe garden grows…
With care for chemicals
While pesticides and herbicides protect your garden from pests, they may also be toxic to your pet, even in small amounts. Be sure to follow instructions and consider watering the pesticide into your yard after applying it. Then wait 48 hours or the directed time period before allowing your pet into the area.
With enclosed organic fertilizers & composts
Organic fertilizers and composts are not necessarily less dangerous for pets. A fertilizer such as bone meal can obstruct the digestive tract, for example, while blood meal can cause diarrhea and pancreatitis. Another area to be mindful of is composting. It may be good for the garden, but eating moldy, organic food waste can lead to vomiting and seizures for pets. Fence off your composting area for pet safety.
With pretty, not poisonous, plants
Do you know which plants are poisonous? Use the ASPCA’s poisonous plants list as your guide. There are many popular varieties that make for a beautiful garden, but are harmful to pets. Sago palm can cause liver failure, for example, while azalea, oleander and rhododendron can affect the heart.
With garden-tool safety
Storing tools off the ground is safer not only for humans, but also for pets. Sharp tools can harm a curious pet’s paws or nose. Dogs are also susceptible to tetanus from rusty tools.
With an eye on pet reactions
Even after following guidelines for pet safety, it’s best to keep a close eye on your pet and his reactions. If he’s acting strangely and you suspect poisoning, call the Animal Poison Control Center or your vet immediately. By acting quickly, you may be able to keep your pet from feeling the harmful effects of garden hazards.
Also, don’t forget to keep your pet busy and off your garden by providing toys for outdoor entertainment. See the best pet toys at your local Pet Supermarket!