Gardens and pets are three words that can describe fun; but throw in ‘dangerous’ to the mix and you’ve already painted a different picture in your mind.
How you might ask? It’s simple. As human’s, we’re conditioned to be wary of anything that may cause us harm; and as such, we remove ourselves from said harmful situations.
This isn’t true for our pets that live in our gardens. Yes, they have a formidable sense of danger that steers their intuition; but when their environment is impacted by ill-informed decisions on our part, we then put their lives in a precarious position.
Here are four basic guidelines to be aware of:
- Harmful Plants
Planting poisonous trees such as the English Oak Tree. Mighty, majestic, strong and inspiring, but with the deadly ability to kill your dog when it’s acorns are consumed in large quantities. Other plants to beware of are the Cycad, Duranta, Flame Lily, Stinkblaar, Oleander, Belhambra, Yellow Jasmine, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Dumb Cane, Moonflower, Elephant’s Ear, Privet, Paint Brush Lily and Syringa. Many of these will cause symptoms such as convulsions, respiratory stress, vomiting and the potential for death. So, the rule of (green) thumb is: speak with your local nursery and ask for advice and if in doubt, pull it out.
Don’t know what these plants look like? Check out our infographic.
- Insecticides, pesticides and herbicides
These can be extremely poisonous to pets and their owners when used in gardens. Insecticides specifically target and kill insects, pesticides work by ingestion or touch and herbicides can kill all plants that they touch. Because of the efficiency of these silent killers, it’s best to consider alternatives such as:
Mulching beds, hand pulling weeds (before they seed) and growing plants that will crowd out the weeds
Try spraying 5% vinegar or stronger on plants that you want to kill
Using egg shells around plant bases, beer, salt, flour or vinegar as bug deterrents . Read more
Using strongly aromatic plants such as rosemary, citronella, mint, fennel, catnip, basil or lemongrass as natural repellents for some of the common garden insects.
- Gardening equipment
Where does this lead us in the great ether that is your garden? Exactly where you should be – outside enjoying the sunshine. Yes, there are horrible things that can harm your pet and your dog could have a marshmallow nose after a bee sting, but your garden is your sanctuary and your pet’s playground.
Enjoy it, play in it, revel in the smells that nature provides and above else – watch out for those landmines!