Your Guide to Growing a Pet-Friendly Garden

A garden brightens your landscaping, produces fresh vegetables, and helps the environment. But without proper precaution, a garden can harm your pet. Keep your pet safe and healthy by following these five steps.

Go organic.

Organic, all-natural fertilizer is the safest for pets. To avoid harsh chemicals, consider making your own compost with grass clippings, leaves, and vegetables. These inexpensive ingredients won’t harm your precious pet. If you have a pet and a garden, then you should be aware of the signs of chemical poisoning: muscle tremors, seizures, and vomiting. Call an emergency clinic if you see any of these signs and believe your pet may have ingested dangerous chemicals.

Make a trail.

To keep your pet away from the plants, make a trail in the garden. Try placing stacks of stones or a raised flowerbed to line the path. Or, you can add a grassy area for your pet to play near the garden. Both of these steps will help your pet get more exercise.

Keep it comfy.

Use plenty of mulch to make the garden softer on your pet’s paws, and ensure that the mulch is packed down to discourage your pet from digging.  Once you’ve added the mulch and used other supplies, store the bags out of the pet’s reach.

Take out toxins. 

Some plants can be poisonous to pets. Be careful when planting ivy, poinsettias, hydrangea, and irises, as these plants have been known to harm pets. See a complete list of toxic plants at www.aspca.org.

Go big.

Choose large plants instead of small, delicate flowers. Large-leafed plants are less likely to be eaten by pets.

If you’re still worried about keeping your pet safe near your garden, then try growing a container garden. Pets are less likely to dig in elevated pots and boxes.

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