Gardeners sometimes spend so much effort trying to keep their dogs from trampling new seedlings and cats from making unauthorized deposits in freshly dug soil, they forget that the garden can be a dangerous place for pets. Take these steps to protect your pets from potential hazards in the garden:
- Pesticides and Herbicides: Even products approved for use in organic gardens can be poisonous if consumed by animals.
- Fertilizers: If you use organic fertilizers in your flower garden but can't let go of your conventional lawn fertilizers, consider the exposure animals get when they tread on these chemicals with their paws. Switch to an organic product with ingredients like corn gluten meal, soy, alfalfa, or blood meal.
- Cocoa Bean Mulch: This mulch is beautiful and fragrant, but some dogs find it as appetizing as chocolate, and it's just as toxic to a dog's digestive system.
- Poisonous Plants: Many ornamental plants are toxic or even fatal to pets, including azalea, begonia, gladiola, and amaryllis. If your pet exhibits drooling, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea, contact your veterinarian.
Photo of Spencer © Roger Wollstadt