Pets and Plants: How to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Safe

Pets and Plants: How to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Safe

Over the past year and a half, houseplants and gardens have become increasingly popular. As we’ve been stuck at home for so long, filling and surrounding ourselves with beautiful greenery makes sense. However, with all of this new blooming plant life, an unfortunate truth must be remembered: not every plant is safe for dogs. It is important to understand any risks that any new addition can pose to your furry friends. Luckily, there are two simple steps everyone can take to ensure their dog is healthy and safe when considering how to navigate having both pets and plants.

Inventory Your Plants

The first step toward safety for any plant owner is an inventory of all plants. Both indoor and outdoor plants can pose a risk for your dog, especially if they’re curious and prone to investigating items with a friendly nibble.

For each plant, learn the following details:

  • Is it toxic or safe?
  • Are there specific parts that are dangerous, such as leaves, stems, or fruits?
  • Do your pets have existing health problems, such as old age, asthma, or immune issues?
  • What are the specific signs and symptoms?

It would be handy to keep a record of this information, so write it down or go digital and put it in a word document. You can add to the list with every plant you purchase. A portable inventory allows you to know what potential dangers exist in your house as well.

Outdoors, you’ll need to be aware of extra dangers. Besides harmful plants, note any hazardous landscaping features. Beware of sharp metal edging and fencing. Some paver stones, such as red brick, will absorb heat from the air. They can also reach temperatures nearly 50° hotter than the air around them. Don’t forget the shade. A yard without shade options can quickly lead to dehydration. List all areas of improvement and include dog-friendly landscaping alternatives.

Turn to clover for a safe and durable ground cover. Bring in shelters or shade plants to keep your pups cool in the sun. Create gardens with dog-safe plants and herbs. Safe herbs like basil and thyme repel pests, and they add a great scent to the garden. Plus, they’re safe for your pets. Even if your pup is a curious nibbler, you’ll know that your yard is full of non-toxic plant options.

Prepare for All Future Flora

With a robust inventory, you can ensure that you understand the important details about your plants. If you have any plants with potential interaction hazards, you might want to rehome them. There are plant donation networks online. Or, you can pass them along to pet-less friends and family.

Going forward, you can apply that same planning for all future plant and garden additions. Some quick tips include:

  • Use plant-identifying apps to investigate potential nursery purchases
  • Avoid toxic plants
  • Ensure you have a safe spot that your pets can never reach if you do keep toxic plants
  • Use high shelves for houseplants
  • Create a fenced-off area for any dangerous outdoor plants

If you want to spruce up the yard into a pet sanctuary, contact the professionals. There are a growing number of pet-friendly landscape companies across the country. Not only will they know which products and items are safe for pets, but they will also help design a yard with the safety of your pets in mind.

If you’re good with your hands, you can always dive in yourself. Plan the yard around pet-friendly backyard ideas. Consider water features to ensure they stay hydrated, or feature a dog run with safe and durable grass. Keep your energetic pups safe and happy in their own backyard utopia.

Dogs and plants can and should coexist peacefully. It’s up to the owners to ensure there aren’t any dangerous combinations. Inventory your plants, and move (or remove) any dangerous items. Keep the outdoors safe with pet-friendly outdoor plants and features. If your pet ever does get into anything suspicious, contact the pet poison control and a vet as soon as possible. With prudent planning, you can ensure that your dogs will stay safe in your growing garden wonderland.

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