March 20, 2019 TVAH

7 Tips to Doggie-Proof Your Garden

You enjoy your garden… And so does your dog. In fact, Rover might “enjoy” the garden a bit too much. From digging up plants to munching on potentially toxic ones, dogs can get themselves into quite a bit of trouble outdoors. This spring, remember these seven tips to doggie-proof your garden.

Store chemicals sharp tools safely. As with children, sharp objects and chemicals can be dangerous for curious dogs. Use a small gardening shed or a locking box. Double check the area when you’re finished working, to be sure nothing was left out where your dog can get to it.

Research your plants. You might be surprised at how many plants seem harmless to us, but can actually be toxic to dogs. Daffodils, lilies of the valley, and azaleas are common examples, but many more plants can be dangerous for canines. It’s best to research all of your choices, and to avoid planting those around your home.

Watch out for thorny bushes. Very curious dogs, especially puppies, can get tangled in thorny bushes. Older dogs can sometimes be taught to simply avoid them, but you know your pet best.

Remove any sources of standing water. Standing water can encourage the growth of blue-green algae, or harbor infectious diseases like leptospirosis, which are both toxic for dogs.

Avoid slug and snail pellets. These insecticides contain metaldehyde, which can be poisonous to dogs. Try more natural solutions like diatomaceous earth, or plants like mint, rosemary, and lavender.

Check your mulch. Some types of mulch contain cocoa bean hulls. And as you probably already know, a chemical in cocoa beans (and chocolate) is toxic to dogs.

Add a fence. Some dog owners find that the best solution for this dilemma is also the most obvious one. They simply fence off a portion of their yard, to use as a vegetable or flower garden, and their dog is simply not allowed in that space. If you go this route, remember that a false sense of security can also be dangerous. Check the fence regularly for signs of your dog digging under, and for damage that could allow him to break through. Also, keep large objects away from the fence, so that he doesn’t get the bright idea to climb over! And of course, make sure the gate latches securely.

If your dog does get into the garden, and you suspect he has ingested something harmful, please call us right away. Keep a handy list of plants or anything else used in your garden, and this might help us identify the cause of the poisoning.

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