Guest blog by Lorie Huston, DVM, who is a writer and blogger that speaks with authority on pet topics.
A lush garden is a beauty to behold but it can hold many dangers for your pet. Some of these dangers are minimal while others may be life-threatening.
Many of the plants and flowers we grow in our gardens are toxic to our pets. Lilies are quite dangerous, especially for cats but for dogs as well. All parts of the true lilies are considered to be poisonous and potentially lethal. Digitalis plants contain a chemical that can cause heart arrhythmias for both dogs and cats. Onions are another example of a plant which may be toxic to pets, causing a blood disease known as anemia. These are just a few examples of plants dangerous for our pets.
Flower bulbs, commonly planted in the spring, are another danger for our pets. When ingested, these bulbs can be toxic for unsuspecting pets. Bone meal and other fertilizers used in gardens can also be poisonous for our pets if ingested. In some cases, curious pets many suffer a “double toxicity” through the ingestions of both bulbs and fertilizers.
To protect your pet, keep fertilizers and all garden chemicals out of your pet’s reach or where these products have been applied. Use fencing or other barriers to keep your pet away from plants, flowers or herbs that may be poisonous.
Cocoa mulch is another potential danger, particularly for curious dogs. Cocoa mulch contains theobromine, the same chemical that makes chocolate toxic to pets. Cocoa mulch is particularly dangerous when first laid down. With time and exposure to rain and other weather, the theobromine tends to be leached out of the mulch, making it less dangerous.
Bio: Lorie Huston, DVM is a pet health/pet care expert and professional writer/blogger. She currently practices veterinary medicine in Rhode Island. You can find Lorie at her blog, Pet Health Care Gazette.