How to Plant a Pet Friendly Garden

Posted on May 17, 2018 under Pet Health & Safety

Gardening is a wonderful hobby, but having a green thumb does not mean your pet should have a “green paw.” As with many aspects of your home, extra care must be taken when you have furry family members included in garden planning. People will admire your garden for its beauty, but a pet will see as a bountiful buffet of delicious delights, making pet friendly plants a must! There are several steps you can take to make sure your garden thrives, and your pet stays healthy.

Pet proofing your garden

Signs Your Pet Might Have Ingested a Poisonous Plant

Certain plants (indoor and outdoor) can be harmful to animals. The toxic effects are found within the plant’s leaves, flowers, and stem as well as the bulbs, seeds or even the water when cut flowers are placed in a vase. Unfortunately, many of toxic plants are fragrant, which means they are particularly enticing to our pets. Chewing or eating the wrong plant can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or even serious illness including seizures and death. Other symptoms pet poisoning symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloody stool
  • Irregular heartbeat

Don’t forget, Pets Best customers can access our 24/7 Vet Helpline as an included service to your policy if your pet is displaying any of these symptoms.

Plants Poisonous to Dogs and Cats

Here are some popular plants that are harmful to animals. This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to consult your veterinarian or garden expert to be certain that you chose safe plants for your garden and home. For quick reference, the ASPCA offers a poisonous plants guide for pets. Pet owners should avoid the following plants:

  • Chrysanthemum
  • Carnation
  • Daisy
  • Lily of the valley
  • Monkshood
  • Peony

Shrubs to avoid include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Azaleas
  • Boxwood
  • Gardenia
  • Hydrangea

Pet Friendly Plants

Lilies are especially toxic to cats.

There are also many beautiful, pet friendly plants to choose from like marigolds, snapdragon, impatiens, hibiscus and petunias. If you are looking for pet-friendly indoor plants, consider a Boston fern, spider plant or bamboo. You will want to avoid the virulent sago palm, jade plant, kafir lily as they as they can be harmful to pets. And while the poinsettia is widely known to be toxic to pets, they typically cause nausea and vomiting when ingested by pets, but will not likely cause serious illness or death.

Toxic Gardening Supplies

An often overlooked piece of planting a pet friendly garden includes the products you use to help your plants grow to be healthy. Be sure to only use pet-friendly fertilizers and pesticides. By nature, weed killers and pesticide products are toxic, so you must be extremely careful before using any product. Check the package for details, contact manufacturers with questions or speak to a veterinarian or garden expert to make sure you do not use any product that can harm your pet.

Of course, each pet is different, and the risks posed by your garden and indoor plants will depend a lot on the personality of your furry friend. Some pets are going to be more curious about plants than others and some pets simply enjoy chewing on leaves and grass more than others. Depending on your pet, you will need to find ways to keep pets out of your garden or discourage them by either using fencing or chicken wire. This is also a helpful strategy for keeping your pup from digging in the garden and preventing muddy paw prints. Another suggestion is to designate a specific area away from the garden for your pets to play and relax. Ultimately, the best strategy includes careful planning and always considering your pet’s unique personality and habits. Gardening is fun but should always be safe for the entire family.