Creating a safe garden for your puppy
Creating a safe garden for your puppy
Creating a safe garden for your puppy

Creating a safe garden for your puppy

Puppies love to explore their environments, so it’s good to know what can be dangerous around the garden. With a little bit of planning, you can have a lovely garden as well as a safe, happy puppy.


Fertiliser may be good for plants, but it’s not good for puppies. Puppies that ingest large amounts of fertiliser may experience an upset stomach or diarrhoea. Organic fertilisers that contain bone meal may be especially attractive to puppies. Follow the directions on fertiliser carefully and be sure to keep your puppy away for the appropriate amount of time.


Insecticides can be very dangerous if swallowed. The most toxic include snail bait with metadehyde, fly bait with methomyl, and systemic insecticides that contain disyston or disulfoton. Rat poison and mole bait with zinc phosphide are also toxic. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s label carefully for proper usage and storage. And of course, make sure it is always stored in an area off-limits to your puppy.


Mulch can be enticing to dogs, especially to puppies that like to chew. Some mulch, called cocoa mulch, can be especially toxic to puppies that are attracted by its sweet smell. Depending on how much a puppy ingests, the side effects include vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity and even seizures. There are safer mulch alternatives such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark. But beware that any ingested mulch can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction. Large rocks (too big for a puppy’s mouth) may be another safe alternative to using mulch.

Fleas and ticks

To keep fleas and ticks at bay, ensure your lawn and garden are well trimmed. Fleas can cause excessive scratching, hair loss, scabs, hot spots, tapeworms and even anaemia from blood loss. Ticks can cause some of the same effects, as well complications from tick-borne illnesses. It’s a good idea to make sure your puppy is protected by a flea and tick preventative. Ask your vet about the right one for your puppy.

Poisonous plants

Last but not least, many outdoor plants can be toxic to puppies. These include popular ones such as sago palm, rhododendron and azalea. So before you let your puppy loose in the garden, make sure none of these hazardous plants are there:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Amaryllis
  • Apple Leaf Croton
  • Apple (seeds)
  • Apricot (pit)
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azalea
  • Baby's Breath
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Branching Ivy
  • Buddhist Pine
  • Buckeye
  • Caladium
  • Calla Lily
  • Castor Bean
  • Ceriman
  • Charming Dieffenbachia
  • Cherry (seeds and wilting leaves)
  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Cineraria
  • Clematis
  • Cordatum
  • Corn Plant
  • Cornstalk Plant
  • Croton
  • Cuban Laurel
  • Cutleaf Philodendron
  • Cycads
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • Devil's Ivy
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Dracaena Palm
  • Dragon Tree
  • Dumb Cane
  • Easter Lily
  • Elaine
  • Elephant Ears
  • Emerald Feather
  • English Ivy
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fiddle-leaf Fig
  • Florida Beauty
  • Foxglove
  • Fruit Salad Plant
  • Geranium
  • German Ivy
  • Giant Dumb Cane
  • Glacier Ivy
  • Gold Dust Dracaena
  • Golden Pothos
  • Hahn's Self-Branching Ivy
  • Heartland Philodendron
  • Hurricane Plant
  • Indian Rubber Plant
  • Janet Craig Dracaena
  • Japanese Show Lily
  • Jerusalem Cherry
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lacy Tree Philodendron
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Madagascar Dragon Tree
  • Marble Queen
  • Marijuana
  • Mexican Breadfruit
  • Miniature Croton
  • Mistletoe
  • Morning Glory
  • Mother-in-Law's Tongue
  • Narcissus
  • Needlepoint Ivy.
  • Nephytis
  • Nightshade
  • Oleander
  • Onion
  • Oriental Lily
  • Peace Lily
  • Peach (wilting leaves/ pits)
  • Pencil Cactus
  • Plumosa Fern
  • Poinsettia (low toxicity)
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Pothos
  • Precatory Bean
  • Primrose
  • Red Emerald
  • Red-Margined Dracaena
  • Red Princess
  • Rhododendron
  • Ribbon Plant
  • Saddle Leaf Philodendron
  • Sago Palm
  • Satin Pothos
  • Schefflera
  • Silver Pothos
  • Spotted Dumb Cane
  • Striped Dracaena
  • String of Pearls
  • Sweetheart Ivy
  • Swiss Cheese Plant
  • Taro Vine
  • Tiger Lily
  • Tomato Plant (green fruit/stem/leaves)
  • Tree Philodendron
  • Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
  • Weeping Fig
  • Yew