Spring planting is done, and summer is just around the corner. We look forward to this time of the year where we can get outside and enjoy the warm weather and the glorious smells of our gardens. Our pets are no exception. They love to run and romp around the yard, perhaps chasing a butterfly or two, but we do need to keep their safety in mind as we plant and tend to our gardens. Let’s explore some of the pitfalls we want to avoid in order to keep every member of our family happy and healthy, including our four-legged friends with pet-safe gardening. [photo via pixabay]
You may want to have a particular plant in your garden for its aesthetic value. The color may be what you are looking for in a particular area or the scent brings joy to the senses. Just be sure to check that the plant’s leaves, flowers or berries aren’t poisonous to animals. It’s pretty scary to think that are over 400 kinds of plants that can harm your pet, causing everything from mild upset stomach to organ failure, and even death. Fortunately, the ASPCA has this great online guide to potential plant problems for your pets.
And when feeding your plants the additional nutrients they require, it’s worth checking the pet safety factor of them prior to application. The same can be said for pesticides, as well. We recommend that you look for organic solutions to your pest issues. Also, be sure to carefully read the directions on any fertilizers you utilize and give the appropriate time for it to work into the soil before exposing your pet to the area.
Borders around your trees or shrubs add that finishing touch, but choose wisely as to the style used. Sharp edges should be avoided, since pets may get cut or sliced by them. You can choose to use natural borders, such as wood or bamboo, to create a barrier between your pet and tender foliage. This is especially important if you have shrubs with large thorns on them.
With all of the new seasonal growth comes another concern: fleas and ticks. The best method of prevention is maintaining your lawn often. Taller grass is a breeding ground for fleas and ticks, so mowing on a regular basis will help eliminate the problem. Constant attention to your yard also allows you to inspect it for any debris or other items that may injure your pet as they play in the area.
Lastly, check your fence and gate system. If you live in a high-traffic area, you want to be sure to protect your pet from running into the street or other objects crossing your property and into your lawn. While you can’t always be sure that your gate is secured, it’s recommended that you have your pet’s collar and current tags on them at all times while they enjoy these longer days outside with you.