Friday, April 13, 2012

Gardeners Beware: Don’t Let Beauty Hurt the Beloved Beast!

Who doesn’t love a beautiful garden? All those wonderful sights and smells and for those who love to get their hands dirty, hours spent gardening can be almost as fun as those spent walking their dog. But, all that beauty and outdoorsy activity aside, beware! Though gardens may be healthful and beautiful to us, they can present a very real health hazard to your pet.

As with all things regarding your pet, safety must begin with you. When choosing your plantings, take a little extra time to be certain you’re not selecting plants that can be harmful -- even poisonous! -- to your pet. Not sure what those plants are? The list is startlingly extensive and includes some that are very common in these region including the bulbs of Amaryllis, Autumn Crocus, Daffodil, Day Lily, Gladiolas, Hyacinth, Iris, Lily of the Valley, Narcissus and Tulips.

Growing in the garden itself, beware Cyclamen, Hydrangea, Poinsettia, Charming Diffenbachia, Christmas Rose, Flamingo Plant, Foxglove, Morning Glory, Nightshade, Onion, Tomato Plant, Tropic Snow Dumbcane and though you probably don’t have it growing in your garden, Marijuana is poisonous to dogs, as well.

For a very good working list of plants toxic and non-toxic to dogs and other animals, check this one at the ASPCA web site.

While it’s important to choose pet-safe plants for the areas your animals will spend time, don’t stop there. While many lawn chemicals are actually not harmful to pets, remember to stay aware while choosing them: better to be certain now than sorry later. And don't forget other things like fertilizer, snail bait and other items you might use in your garden.

With a little care you will make sure that the little oasis you’re creating in your yard will be safe and enjoyable for your canine friends as well as your human ones!

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