It may be best practice to put up a low fence to keep your pet (and other animals) out of your garden. Dogs love to dig—and they don't know the difference between digging up a barren patch of dirt versus your prize pumpkin. Cats are also notorious for using gardens as their own personal litter boxes.
Some forays into the garden can be not only destructive but dangerous. Garden products like pesticides and herbicides can cause serious harm to your pet. Dogs also love to eat fertilizer and compost that—while healthy for your garden—will just give your pet an upset stomach.
It can be mystifying when some vegetables are poisonous in certain circumstances but perfectly healthy in others. For instance, did you know that tomato plants and unripe tomatoes are toxic? The plant and small green tomatoes contain tomatine, which can cause vomiting, weakness, and even heart issues. But as the fruit grows, the level of tomatine decreases dramatically, so ripe tomatoes make for safe, non-toxic treats. Similarly, raw potatoes may be problematic for your pet, but cooked potatoes are fine in moderation.
Steer clear of any veggies in the Allium genus, such as onions, garlic and chives. When eaten in sufficient quantities, they can damage the red blood cells of dogs and cats and cause serious health concerns. To ensure that your garden is pet-friendly year-round, you can consult APCC's full list of toxic plants.
Who Wants a Treat?
The following garden staples can be fed as snacks (in moderation) or baked into yummy goodies for your pets:
You might even consider growing some catnip for your feline friends. So get your gloves on and have a great (and safe) growing season!
Puddles are for splashing – not drinking! You never know what is lurking beneath the surface; drinking from stagnant water sources can introduce harmful parasites and bacteria to your canine's digestive track. Make sure your pup has access to plenty of fresh, clean water when playing outside.
Spraying for bugs and ticks can make pets sick!
If the bugs are bugging you, they are likely bugging your dog too. Bug sprays and insecticides can cause very serious, and even fatal side effects, if ingested. When treating your home for pests, keep your pets in a separate area until the chemicals are dry or it is safe for reentry. Also, store your insecticides in a tall cabinet, well out of your dog's reach.