How do I keep my garden Pet-safe?


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Cat in garden

The first thing to do is clear your yard/garden of any material that is harmful to your pet if chewed or may injure your pet. Keep garbage and compost heaps away from any area your pet plays in. Rotted food can make your pet ill. Check the fence to make sure it is secure - pets shouldn't be able to dig their way out, catch on any loose boards or exposed nails.

Pets should have a shady area to rest in and stay out of the hot sun. Fresh water should be provided outdoors. Even at home or in the yard a collar and ID are necessary, just in case your pet does get out. Please don't leave your pet unattended for long periods. They need your company and keeping an eye on them will keep them out of trouble.

If you have a pool, you should have a fence or some barrier so that your pet won't accidentally fall in. You should always supervise your pet around the pool.

I no longer use toxic sprays to rid the garden of weeds, I dig 'em up. A daily walk around the garden lets me know where the offending weeds are and I go after them. If you spray, pets walking in the sprayed area can pick the toxins up on their feet even after the spray has dried. When licking their feet the toxins are ingested. Not a good thing!

There are non-toxic solutions to destroying the weeds - try spraying white vinegar, Neem oil, salted water or boiling water. Check online for "green" weed killers - www.cleanairgardening.com, www.ohioearthfood.com are just a couple. Of course, pulling the weeds out by hand works the best and is quick.

Here is a list of some plants that are poisonous to your pet. You can either avoid planting them, placing them in an area where your pet doesn't go or planting them behind a barrier of some sort. Particular care should be taken if your pet is a chewer.

  • Periwinkle
  • Morning Glory
  • Day Lily
  • Iris
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendron
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Azalea
  • Christmas Rose
  • Daffodil
  • Buttercup
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Foxglove
  • Tulips
  • Sago Palm
  • Diffenbachia
  • Aloe
  • Capsicum
  • Dracena
  • Digitalis
  • Caladium
  • Digitalis
  • Spider Plant
  • Euphorbia

Check the ASPCA listings of over 500 plants and trees that are poisonous to pets.