Could your garden poison your pets? Here’s how to create a pet-friendly plot
Are you concerned your garden might be a hazard to your pets?
Pets can be a challenge for keen gardeners, especially when it comes to safety, and as the weather warms up and your animals start spending more time in the garden, they may chew on plants or try to explore areas you thought were out of bounds.
Caroline Reay, senior vet at national pet charity Blue Cross (bluecross.org.uk), says: “It’s important for owners to be aware some plants are not as harmless as they seem, but we want people to enjoy their garden.
“With a bit of planning, you can create a beautiful and safe garden for everyone to enjoy, including your pets, all year round.”
Lilies – the leaves, flowers and pollen – are highly poisonous to cats, even in minuscule quantities, and have the potential to be fatal.
Most crocuses are a good alternative for spring colour to daffodils, which are toxic, but avoid colchicums or autumn crocuses, which can also be poisonous. Bluebells can be too, but severe poisoning is rare.
Other plants which are toxic to cats and dogs include tulips, daffodil bulbs, foxgloves, hyacinth, ivy, azalea, cyclamen root and buttercups.
Cats should avoid iris, yucca, leeks, tomatoes and potatoes, while dogs can have an adverse reaction to bluebells, lupins, yew, rhododendron, wild cherry tree and the stems of sweet peas.
Many herbs, including rosemary, parsley, lavender, thyme and sage are good, safe choices.
Other safe plants for your cat and dog include African daisy, calendula, nasturtium, Boston fern, rose, camellia, gerber daisy, pampas grass, marigold, petunia, spider plant, star jasmine, sunflower, viola, snap dragon and zinnia.
Many cats like catnip or catmint, while rosemary and snapdragons provide stimulation if you have a dog.
Fences and gates must be secure so dogs can’t escape. Six foot is a good height for most.
Slugs and snails can infect pets with lungworm, but avoid slug pellets which can be toxic. Stick to using barriers like soot, sharp sand or beer traps and ask your vet pet about lungworm protection.
Be cautious with fertiliser
Lawn feed and moss killer may irritate your pet’s paws and can cause gastrointestinal upsets, so keep your pets away from any area you treat.
Keep shed doors firmly shut and greenhouse entrances/exits blocked with mesh. It’ll prevent explorers from becoming trapped or getting into trouble with dangerous substances or sharp tools kept inside, or succumbing to heatstroke.
Avoid chemical weed killers and pesticides too, as they can be harmful to pets (and wildlife).
Make the garden fun
Provide logs to scratch and climb on, and tunnels for your pet to go through.
Cats like to sit up high and observe the goings on below. If you don’t have any trees, consider placing platforms and scratching posts around your garden.
The Press Association
Latest posts by The Press Association (see all)
- How to out-smart hay fever this summer - June 17, 2019
- Liz Earle’s top tips for managing menopause symptoms during summer - June 14, 2019
- National Geographic Travel Photo Contest: As the winners are announced, here are our favourite shots - June 14, 2019
- 6 ways you can personally contribute to hitting the UK’s new 2050 climate target - June 12, 2019
- As she turns 100, The Archers star June Spencer reveals the secret to living a long and happy life - June 11, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!