Dog Care 101: Tip #168 – Gardening With Your Dog Pt. 2

Last week Best Bully Sticks talked about reconciling the relationship between your dog and your garden. If you love both, but your dog seems to not care for your garden patch or flower beds, read Gardening With Your Dog Pt. 1 from last Monday. After you’ve worked hard to create a beautiful and blooming garden and instill respect in your dog for that same garden, don’t let it go to waste by putting your dog in harms way. 

An overly curious dog or an accident in with garden equipment can be hazardous! Here are some quick tips on keeping your pup safe in the garden. And remember; if you’re not a green thumb, still pay attention to these tricks and tips. You never know when Fido will be around a friend’s garden or what he could possibly pick up in the outdoors.


Poisonous Plants
Obviously, plant choice is a big decision in your garden, however some plants are very toxic to your dog.  Sago Palm and other types of palm in the Cycad family as well as mushrooms can cause liver failure in dogs. Rhododendron, Azaleas, Foxglove, Lily of the Valley, Oleander and Rosebay all affected the heart. The ASPCA has a full list of names and photos of plants to avoid.

Chemical Fertilizer & Insecticides
Chemically laden fertilizers and pesticides are usually an easy and quick fix to feed, weed and kill bugs, but a there is no easy and quick fix for a dog who has serious intestinal or digestive issues or worse. All gardens need to be fed and treated, but whether a dog accidentally or intentionally gets into garden chemicals, it’s never a pretty picture.  The first step in avoiding this common mishap is simply reading the manufacturer’s instructions. These will let you know how long the chemicals are in the environment. It could be only a few days or even weeks, but either way your dog could be affected. Making these fertilizers and insecticides inaccessible to your dog is a good measure to take. If you do use these chemicals, leave your dog inside when applying them to your garden.

Compost is a wonderful, natural alternative to using chemical fertilizers. Composting natural kitchen waste (egg shells, coffee, fruit and veggie scraps) is a great way to give your garden vital nutrients while also creating less waste. However, make sure your dog doesn’t take your compost bin for a “second-helping” bin. Make sure your compost is where your dog cannot get to it, simply for the reason that certain people foods aren’t good for Fido.

Cocoa Mulch
Cocoa Mulch is mulch commonly used by landscapers and gardeners alike to keep the weeds out and make garden beds look nice. However, this mulch, which is used for its deep color and pleasant smell, can be toxic to dogs. Cocoa mulch is made from cocoa beans. If a dog eats any of this sweet smelling mulch the health problems can range from vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate and seizures. Using alternatives such as shredded pine or cedar will help keep your dog out of trouble.

Fleas & Ticks
If your dog is outside a lot in any environment, contracting fleas and ticks is possible. Both of these pests lurk in tall grass so the easiest way to protect your pup is to keep your grass cut short. Fleas can cause incessant scratching, hair loss, hot spots and tapeworms. Ticks can cause a myriad of more serious problems such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Babesia.

Garden Tools & Other Hazards
Dog are naturally curious animals, so if you think your newly sharpened garden hoe won’t be sniffed or pawed at, you might be wrong. Making sure your garden tools don’t go unattended is the best way to avoid any paw cuts, nose scrapes or worse from a trip on a tool. Rusty garden tools are even worse because they pose the risk of tetanus. Also, when you mow the grass, take Fido inside. A stray rock in his direction might do serious damage.

If anything does happen:
Call your vet immediately!
If you think you might know what your dog ingested, have the ingredient label ready for your vet.

Use common sense
If you don’t think your dog will have any interest in ingesting chemicals, toxic plants, or anything else covered in this article, BBS would advise it’s better to be safe than sorry.
-Keep chemicals and garden implements out of reach.
-Don’t leave tools unattended.
-Don’t let your dog out of your sight, or alone in the garden.
-Don’t let your dog wander into a neighbor’s yard.
-All in all, just use common sense! BBS wishes you a safe and successful garden season! 

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