With spring’s arrival many of us are looking to our yards and gardens, no matter how big or small, and thinking of improvements that need to be made and clean up that needs to be done. But our backyard is more than a place to hang out; it is also our pet’s playground so it’s important to know what dangers may be hiding in your garden before you use your green thumb to create the perfect garden space. Last spring the Pet Poison Hotline reported over 2000 calls. Use these helpful and important tips to help you keep your dog safe and your garden green.
Be sure to put away your garden tools. Rakes, hoes, trowels and other garden tools left in the yard can be harmful to your dog. Avoid serious injuries to your dog by storing them safely away. Just like a human if they are injured by one they may need a tetanus booster to care for them as well as may require an expensive trip to the vet.
While composting is good for the environment, it is not so good for your dog. Moldy food, coffee grounds and other items that end up in the compost bin can cause serious problems to your pet’s digestive track. Be sure to keep you composter out of reach, not only to protect your dog but the one that may wander into your back yard.
Avoid OPY (other people’s yards). I am sure our neighbors will love to hear this one! Many chemicals, pesticides and products used by our neighbors without pets to keep their yard clean and green can be harmful to our pets. This includes many popular flowers and plants such as “sago palm, rhododendron and azalea—are toxic to cats and dogs. Sago palm and other members of the Cycad family as well as mushrooms can cause liver failure, while rhododendron, azalea, lily of the valley, oleander, rosebay, foxglove and kalanchoe all affect the heart, “according to the ASPCA. Be sure to consult their list of toxic and non-toxic plants before you start your planting.
Cocoa mulch definitely looks nice and smells better than many other types of mulch, but the key word here is “cocoa.” Just as chocolate is harmful to your dog cocoa mulch is poisonous to your dog too.
Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and insecticides can be a real pest for your pet, whether they are in the form of a spray, granules or baits. Be sure to store them away from your pets in carefully closed containers.
It’s time to find the perfect flea and tick prevention for your dog. With the warmer weather our furry friends are more at risk. Keep your yard mowed to help avoid these common pests.
You may also find the spring to be the perfect time to get your dog a “new do.” In our house the Westie is scheduled for his summer cut early to help avoid fleas as well as hot spots.
Organics may be healthy for your family but not for your dog. Some popular “organic” gardening fertilizers contain bone meal which can when mixed with stomach acid form a hard ball in the stomach and can cause illness, may require surgery and could even result in death.
Look for these symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, bloody stools, respiratory reactions, lethargy or weakness or neurologic signs. If you notice these symptoms after your dog has been outside contact your veterinarian immediately. Don’t try to treat them yourself.
“Keeping animals safe from accidental poisonings should not end once you’ve stepped outside,” says Dana Farbman, APCC pet poison prevention expert. “Protecting your pet from potential hazards in your yard is just as critical.”