Creating a safe garden for your puppy

Dog-friendly gardens for your puppy

Puppies love to explore their environments, so it’s good to know what can be dangerous around the garden. Read our tips on common items you’d find in the garden so you can have a lovely garden full of dog-friendly plants as well as a safe, happy puppy.

Fertiliser

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

Insecticides can be very dangerous if swallowed, so they’re best left out of dog-friendly gardens. 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

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

Keep your dog-friendly garden well-trimmed to keep fleas and ticks at bay. 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 for dogs

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

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