Gardening Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Thinking of heading out to the backyard to tend to your garden? It can be a lot of fun to have your pet explore outdoors while you’re gardening, but make sure he stays safe. Use these tips from a Farmington Hills veterinary professional.

Careful with Insecticides and Fertilizer

Many gardeners spray insecticides on their plants and fertilizers on their lawns to keep insects off and promote growth. Don’t forget that these substances are most likely toxic to our companion animals. They contain poisons that could cause serious health problems in cats and dogs, so keep pets indoors while you’re spraying chemicals. Don’t let a pet nibble on a tuft of treated grass or a sprayed garden plant, either!

Check for Toxic Plant Life

You may be planting dangerous flora in your garden and not even realize it! Many common garden plants and flowers, like chrysanthemums, tulips, daffodils, azalea, oleander, lilies, the sago palm, and many others, can prove toxic if a pet ingests them. Ask your veterinarian for a complete list of hazardous plants and take steps to remove them from your garden or restrict your pet’s access.

Watch Your Tools

Leaving sharp-edged gardening tools lying around in the yard isn’t only a hazard for your pets—it could prove dangerous for you and your family as well! Make sure all rakes, hoes, tillers, clippers, saws, and shovels are stored in plain view where no one can trip over them or cut themselves.

Protect Against Pests

You and your pet aren’t the only ones who enjoy hanging out in the garden this time of year. Warm-weather pests like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and even parasitic worms thrive this time of year and probably like the long grasses or thick plants of the garden. Keep all of your pets on year-round preventative medicines to prevent infestation or infection. Ask your vet how to get started if your pet needs these medications.

Caution with Compost

A compost pile is a great idea, but remember to keep your pet away from it. There’s a good chance it contains all sorts of hazardous materials for pets, from coffee grounds to onions to mold.

Before you head out to the garden this year, make sure your pet will stay safe. Ask your Farmington Hills veterinarian for more great tips!

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