The best way to protect your household from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan must include your pets. Being prepared can save their lives.(1)
We know you love your pets and want to keep them safe. Here is some useful information to keep your pet happy, healthy and safe in the garden.
1. Know your toxic plants--there are a number of common garden plants that are toxic to cats and/or dogs. For instance, lilies are quite harmful to cats, and both cats and dogs should avoid daffodils and tulip bulbs. The ASPCA lists the following landscape plants as the most poisonous for your cats and dogs:
If you think your pet has ingested a plant, first check the ASPCA plant registry to see whether the plant is toxic for your pet. Their website is: www.aspca.org. The ASPCA database is easy to use and amazingly complete. If you need more information the ASPCA operates a fee-for-service poison control service. I have personally used the service and found it to be staffed by knowledgeable vets.
If you need help identifying a plant, contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office. You can email a picture of the plant for identification. Send a picture of the entire plant, and at least one close up of the leaves and stem.
2. Secure your compost bin -- Secure your compost bin so that your dog or cat cannot feast on the contents.
3. Properly use and store pesticides and fertilizers-- store pesticides and fertilizers in secure, labeled containers, and if you apply pesticides, always read the label thoroughly and learn when it is safe for your pets to be out in the garden after an application.
4. Avoid cocoa shell mulch—dogs love to eat the mulch and it is toxic for them.
5. Keep your pets hydrated--If you are out in the garden with your pet for any length of time, be sure they have a source of clean water for them to drink.
Last updated May 16, 2018