When preparing the yard for spring, there are some dangers to our pets in surprising places. But with a little bit of planning, you can have a beautiful garden that is safe for your pets.
Pet Poisons: Blossoms, Belly Aches, and More
At the garden center, look for plants that are pet-friendly. Many nurseries post a list of plants that are poisonous for dogs and cats, but in case yours doesn’t here are a few plants to beware of.
When it comes to flowers, lilies start the list of beautiful, yet deadly blossoms. Tiger lilies, day lilies, and Easter lilies are very toxic to cats and ingestion of just a few petals or leaves can result in kidney failure. Dogs are diggers and they eat more than just flowers and leaves. They dig up and eat bulbs of daffodils or tulips and may develop severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Flowering shrubs can also be toxic, so place those pretty azaleas and lantana plants out of your pet’s reach. Both can upset your dog’s intestinal tract. Non-flowering plants like the Sago palm cause more than just GI upset. Dogs that eat parts of this plant often suffer severe or fatal liver disease.
Garden pet poisons aren’t limited to foliage and flowers.
Products used to encourage plant growth can also be pet poisons. Carefully read the labels of all fertilizer or growth supplements. Fertilizers are gastrointestinal irritants that can make your pet miserable. Far worse, they are often combined with dangerous chemicals such as carbamates or organophosphates that kill insects and can be deadly for pets as well.
Call your veterinary emergency clinic immediately if your pet drools excessively, has difficulty breathing or has a seizure. Carbamate or organophospate poisoning requires prompt treatment.
Soil supplements such blood meal can also be harmful. Blood meal is flash-frozen blood that is ground up and used and as nitrogen source to enrich soil. It’s a good organic fertilizer, but when ingested by a curious pet, it can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Blood meal can also result in pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) that is painful and potentially fatal.
Bone meal is another soil supplement made from actual animal bones. Dogs love bones, so they readily eat it. How can bone meal make a dog sick? When in the stomach, bone meal may form a solid, concrete-like ball that may obstruct the GI tract. Surgery is often needed to remove the blockage.
Pesty Poisons to Dogs and Cats
Avid gardeners know that pests such as snails, slugs, or rodents can ruin your beautiful flower bed. Unfortunately, the baits used to keep your flowers safe aren’t safe for your dog or cat. Snail and slug baits can cause seizures and even death. Rodenticides cause blood clotting disorders or kidney failure.
The Great, Safe Outdoors
It’s a great time of year to spend time outdoors with our pets. Enjoy the weather and your lovely garden, but take a few minutes to plan a beautiful yard that is safe for everyone.