Creating A Pet-Safe Yard and Garden

PrairieRidge_iStock_000016333413_LargeCreating A Pet-Safe Yard and GardenMason county is a wonderful community and, in our collective hearts, we share a fondness for roadside markets boasting all manner locally grown goodies! This appreciation for planting food and flowers translates often translates into our own backyards. However, your pet can be inadvertently placed in harm’s way if certain safety precautions are not considered prior to planting. To best protect your four-legged friend this spring and summer, we have the following ideas for planting a pet-safe yard and garden.

The Goods

There are so many wonderful plants to choose from to soften your landscaping and create your property’s oasis. Whether you are planting new seedlings, or are wondering about the properties of existing plants, you can easily conduct research that increases your knowledge of toxic and non-toxic plants.

After your search, you may want to relocate certain toxic plants (like that unsafe, azalea or oleander) to the front yard or remove them altogether. Likewise, your list may inspire you to hit the nursery and stock up on all the wonderful pet-friendly plants you can use in your front and back yards.

While you might be a planting fanatic, you’ll want to be sure your pet has some nice turf to bound through and enjoy, too. You may also consider:

  • Keeping your planting beds to the periphery of your yard
  • Edging in-ground plantings with a border to deter pet investigations
  • Protecting beds with wood chips or mulch (no cocoa mulch, please)
  • Installing a marking post
  • Keeping a fresh water supply in a few shady spots throughout your yard
  • Providing a soft digging place for your dog to store bones and other treasures – Not only does this tap into your dog’s intrinsic canine behavior, but keeps your yard free of holes and patchy grass

The Pet-Safe Yard

Speaking of grass, you work hard keeping it soft and green. It’s recommended that pet owners use only pet-safe products. Unfortunately, many commercial herbicides and pesticides are anything but safe for your pet. Weed killers and lawn care chemicals should dry before allowing your pet to sniff and inspect, and consider wiping paws upon re-entry to the house.

Keeping Pests Away

Your pet-safe yard should not include products with the toxic ingredient metaldehyde. Many pest removal sprays or baits on the market today are extremely dangerous to pets. If you have snails, slugs, ants, roaches, or rodents in and around your yard, consider an  alternative for organic pest removal solutions. Always be on the lookout for symptoms related to a pet poisoning.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that your pet-safe yard may look attractive to feral animals, as well. Raccoons, opossum, mice, rats, and even deer can pose problems to you and your pet via fleas and ticks (not to mention general safety) Make sure your pet is up to date on both his or her parasite prevention and vaccinations to reduce the risk of disease or parasites.

Tried and True Methods

After a long afternoon poking around your yard and garden, your pet will need a shady place to rest and enjoy a long drink of fresh, cool water. While he or she is chilling out, make a quick run around your yard to check on the following:

  • All lawn care products are properly stored
  • Garden hoses are coiled and stowed to reduce the risk of your dog chewing on and ingesting hose material
  • Any toxic fungal growth (poisonous mushrooms tend to grow quickly after a heavy rain)
  • Empty any standing water beneath potted plants or collected in storm drains
  • Check on the security of your property’s fencing

Above all, enjoy the lovely warm weather together with your pet and family. Please remember we are always here to support your pet’s health and hope you’ll call us with any questions.

If you suspect that your pet has eaten something dangerous from your yard, he or she might need emergency care.

posted in:  Pet Wellness