Dogs are great for getting us outdoors and who wouldn’t want to be outdoors when the sky is blue, the sun is shining and spring is in the air. Sometimes it’s good to just stop, take a look around and appreciate our environment. The back garden is the perfect place to do just that…as well as providing the ideal opportunity to have some serious fun with our four legged friends!
However, it’s important we make sure our gardens are as safe as possible before we let our pets run free. Here we outline five potential hazards to look out for to help make the garden a dog friendly haven:
- Tools and equipment
From secateurs to insecticides it’s important to keep any potentially dangerous equipment and produce safely locked away. Many garden tools have sharp edges which could cause injury to an inquisitive dog if left lying around. And most insecticides and pesticides are, by their nature, designed to combat unwanted pests so contain harmful chemicals and additives. Always check the contents and use with caution or ask any of our garden care experts who will be able to provide recommendations for the most suitable products.
Every good gardener knows to keep on top of their weeding, but this most common of garden tasks is even more important for dog owners. It is particularly important to keep an eye on those weeds which are barbed and burrow into the ground, uprooting them as soon as possible to prevent dogs digesting them. Weed killer should also be used carefully as many domestic varieties contain glyphosate which can be harmful if swallowed or licked by dogs. Again, ask our garden care experts for their expert advice.
- Slugs and snails
Unwanted garden guests that most good gardeners will already be evicting from the garden, but for those with dogs its good practice to clear them away as soon as they make an appearance. Although most dogs will steer clear and avoid eating these slippery characters, some might decide to be a bit more inquisitive and try them for a snack. They aren’t a good one, as slugs and snails can carry the larvae of the lungworm parasite, which can cause serious infection.
- Lawns & borders
Just like weed killers and insecticides, lawn feed can often include potentially harmful ingredients such as ferrous sulphate which can be harmful to dogs’ skin. It’s always best to choose a natural, organic enrichment to boost your grass growth. Organic mulches and composts are also the best choice for your borders, which should be kept clear of hazards which might prove interesting for a curious dog. Keep fences and walls in good condition to prevent your dog squeezing through and taking themselves of on an unaccompanied adventure!
- Mushrooms & potential poisonous plants
The majority of plants for the garden are harmless, but there are certain varieties of vegetables and flowers that can cause illnesses in dogs. Tomatoes, potatoes and lilies are some of the surprising culprits and ones to watch out for when planning your garden. Ask any member of our horticulture team and they will help recommend the best choices for your pet friendly garden. Many mushrooms are perfectly edible…mainly those from the supermarket shelves! Those in the garden should be avoided and removed as dogs can suffer similar symptoms to humans when it comes to mushrooms!
The garden is a great place to be and can be enjoyed by everyone. Families, friends and even our pets…just take a quick look around to make sure it’s as safe as environment as can be.