Your yard is your dog’s sanctuary. It’s where he plays, explores, sunbathes, and yes--uses the restroom. With summer on the way, it’s essential that you make sure your garden is safe for them to roam freely. In 2016, outdoor plants and garden products accounted for almost 20% of calls to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). By educating yourself and taking the proper precautions, you can dog-proof your yard to that your pooch is safe even when left to play unsupervised.
Be careful what you plant
Most garden plants are perfectly safe for humans, but there are varieties that may prove to be dangerous or toxic for your dog. Many popular garden species are poisonous to dogs, causing symptoms ranging from digestive issues to death. Dog’s can necessarily tell which plants are safe to eat or not by smell, so it’s up to you to be discerning about what you choose to include in your garden. There are several species that you should avoid planting, such as:
Cover up compost
Compost, like certain fertilizers, can be tempting for dogs, but it's also poisonous. While your pup may see your compost pile as its own personal buffet, it’s not safe to let your dog browse through the muck. While fresh produce is okay, rotting fruits and vegetables may contain dangerous bacteria and toxic buildup. Some molds can also cause tremors and seizures. Beyond that, some of the food that you throw out may be poisonous to your four-legged friend. It’s a good idea to make sure all compose is securely latched inside a designated bin that your dog can’t reach. You may even want to fence off the area as an added precaution.
Most fertilizers cause stomach aches in dogs, and while that’s the worst of it for some, others can lead to more damage. Blood meal can cause vomiting, diarrhea and severe inflammation of the pancreas due to its high nitrogen content. Bone meal can cause dry blockages in the gastrointestinal tract. Rose and plant fertilizers containing organophosphates can lead to a toxic buildup of acetylcholine, causing seizures, breathing difficulties, and even death. It’s best to stick to vegetarian fertilizers such as Alfalfa meal or pellets, which is a safer choice for pets.
Puppy-proofing your garden is relatively simple, and it can potentially save you an expensive trip to the vet later on down the road. By taking care in planning your yard, you can ensure that your pooch is kept safe during outdoor playtime. Just be sure to avoid poisonous plants and dangerous chemicals that could pose a threat to your four-legged friend.
~ by Janette Moon, Freelance Writer