Creating a Pet Safe Garden
We all love our pets! Your pet is part of your family, but unlike your children, your pets can’t tell you when something is wrong, why they don’t feel good, where it hurts and how. It is up to you to be on the lookout and nowhere is this truer than in and around your home. Creating outdoor space for you and your pets to enjoy is one of life’s simpler pleasures, so it’s important to ensure your environment is pet safe and friendly.
As pet parents ourselves, we strive to create healthy, organic, and natural solutions for your garden, your pets’ garden and your pet. We hope these four tips will be helpful to you and your beloved pet companions.
KNOW WHICH PLANTS ARE TOXIC.
Many popular outdoor plants are toxic to cats and dogs. Common species such as rhododendron, azalea, lily of the valley, oleander, rosebay, foxglove and kalanchoe all affect the heart. The sago palm, along with other members of the Cycad family, as well as mushrooms, can cause liver failure. Check out this ASPCA list of toxic and non-toxic plants for your home and garden.
The natural instinct of most animals is avoidance of toxic plants, however, we cannot rely on that with our domesticated pets. Kittens, puppies and other young pets are just like little children, putting new things in their mouths to see what they are or just for the fun of chewing. Observe your pet’s habits and tendencies; remove toxic plants out of their reach. Some pets may never look at the leaf of a plant for chewing; others may love to munch at plants into full adulthood. Knowing what plants are toxic and your pet’s habits will help you create a safe environment.
Got new plants that are not from an organic supplier? Be sure you check for any little balls of chemical fertilizer that might be spread on the dirt that could attract curious pets. These little balls are are definitely toxic to our furry friends.
USE ORGANIC PESTICIDES AND FERTILIZERS ON YOUR LAWN AND IN YOUR GARDEN
This one will come as no surprise to you, but let’s reiterate the startling facts. Every year, American homeowners use approximately 70 million pounds of pesticides to maintain their lawns. So yes, your part makes a difference, and no, you can’t tell from reading the label (which only needs to include a list of so-called active ingredients). According to a recent study, the risk of canine malignant lymphoma was 70 percent higher in households using professionally applied pesticides. Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 are linked with cancer or carcinogenicity, 26 with liver or kidney damage, and 15 with neurotoxicity. Of those same pesticides, 17 are detected in groundwater, 24 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms, and 11 are toxic to bees. Remember that pets see the outdoors as a giant playground, and they want to roll around in it, smell and taste everything. That’s how external exposure becomes an internal risk.
You can trust that all of the products on our site are not only great for your garden and lawn, but are also safe for your pets!
USE ORGANIC FLEA CONTROL
Essential oils can and should be used to defend your pet against fleas, but it’s also possible to minimize exposure in your green space. Cedarwood oil is considered one of the safest natural alternatives to use on your pets. It can also be used on your landscape and repels fleas from coming into your garden in the first place. Cedarwood oil can be sprayed on all outdoor surfaces. The diluted oil is a safe, non-staining, natural spray that discourages flea populations.
ALL OF THIS APPLIES TO HOUSEPLANTS, TOO.
Your garden is really an extension of your home, so make sure you’re using organic products indoors. More than 700 plants contain toxic substances that may harm dogs or cats if ingested. The signs may be mild or severe, and in some cases pets can die. Most houseplants have multiple names, so it’s important to confirm that the plants you own or plan to purchase are not toxic to your pet. Plants that are harmful to both dogs and cats include the asparagus fern, aloe, the jade plant and lilies, to name only a few. Check out the ASPCA’s searchable database for a comprehensive list.