Gardening and Your Pet

by | General Pet Care |

Dog in Garden
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Pets may not share your love of gardening, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in the end result. For some pets, this can involve chewing, digging or walking through your newly manicured yard. Not only can this undo all your hard work, but some plants and gardening products can be unsafe or even toxic to pets. Whether you have a small flowerbed or a large dedicated garden, here are ways to keep your garden pet-friendly and your pet garden-friendly:

Know which plants are toxic to pets

Some common backyard plants can be toxic to certain pets. Before you make a trip to the garden centre, make sure you’re familiar with the list of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets. Like people, pets can also have allergies to certain plants. Speak with your veterinarian about this and watch your pet carefully when introducing new plants into your yard.

Use fertilizer responsibly

Fertilizer, if ingested by your pet, can cause serious stomach upset and many are toxic if eaten. When applying fertilizer to your garden, make sure you follow the appropriate wait times indicated on the package before letting your pet into the yard.

Use gardening products and sprays with caution

Common gardening products such as herbicides, insecticide baits, sprays, and granules can be toxic if ingested by your pet. While it’s best to avoid these products, if you must use them, make sure you follow the directions on the packaging carefully and observe the indicated wait times. Always store these products somewhere safe where your pet can’t access them.

Use pet-friendly mulch

Cocoa mulch, a popular gardening product derived from cocoa bean shells, is toxic for dogs to ingest. Pine needle mulch can also be dangerous if ingested, since it can puncture your pet’s stomach lining. Look for pet-friendly mulch options, like shredded pine, cedar bark. Even with the pet-friendly options, you should still supervise your pet around mulch, since it can still present a choking hazard.

Keep pets away from backyard composters

Composters can be tempting to curious pets as well as local wildlife. Not only can ingesting spoiled food cause stomach upset, but your composter may contain foods that are toxic to your pet (coffee grounds, certain types of fruits and vegetables, etc.). Make sure your composter is securely fastened and placed in an area that’s restricted to your pet.

Blocking off your garden

If your pet is too tempted by your garden, you may want to invest in a surrounding fence to keep your pet out. Raised gardening beds and densely planted areas can also act as a deterrent.

If you have a dog that likes to snoop around your garden, it can be a good opportunity to practice vocal commands and use positive training and reinforcement to teach your dog that your garden