How to - The Healthy Gardener

Quiz: How pet-friendly is your garden?

Find out if you've got some plants or places in the yard that may be unsafe

Question 4
Some plants in your garden may be toxic and even deadly to your pets.

Answer = True

Most dogs and cats love to chew on leafy green plants, but there are some plants that can be quite harmful to your pet if ingested. Common garden plants including foxglove, jasmine, castor bean, certain varieties of lilies (lily-of-the-valley, day lilies), yew, crab apples, begonias, rhubarb, coleus, tulips, garlic, hostas and tomato plants contain carbio-toxins and can cause heart failure if ingested. Consider planting pet-friendly plants for your four-legged friend to nibble on like catnip, bamboo, lavender, alyssum, cucumber, snapdragon, bachelor’s buttons, Boston fern and marigolds if you feel they need something to munch on. Avoid plants with spikes and thorns in high-traffic pet areas, as they may scratch or injure your pets.

Question 5
Dogs and cats love to lie in the sun, so make sure you provide a comfy place for them to soak up the sunshine.

Answer = False

It is true the animals love to soak up the summer sun, but make sure you provide shady areas, too. If your backyard is lacking shade, consider adding some trees and even a patio umbrella to your landscape. Always make sure your pets have access to fresh, clean water when outside and refill the water bowls frequently on hot summer days. At the end of the day, dump any remaining water into your garden to avoid standing water. West Nile Virus is harmful to pets and people.

Question 6
A fenced yard with a securely latched gate provides a safe and secure place for your dog to play and relax.

Answer = True

A fully fenced yard is the perfect solution to keeping your dog safe and happy. Fences can also be used to segregate your garden and keep your pets out of certain areas. For example, a fence surrounding your veggie garden will deter your pooch from an afternoon snack of beans and cucumbers. If your yard is fully fenced and you feel confident that your dog will behave in the yard unsupervised, an access door can provide your pooch with constant access to the garden.


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