Dogs and cats tend to be inquisitive and some are especially so. There may be substances around the garden and yard which could make your pet sick or even cause death. As the saying goes, 'prevention is better than cure,' so it is safest to keep potential harmful substances where they can not be reached by pets.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Toxic plants Numerous plants are toxic if consumed by a dog or cat. Many of these are also toxic to humans, especially young children. Oleanders, azaleas, cyclamen, dieffenbachia, aloe vera, tomato leaves and many bulbs are among the plants that are poisonous to pets. Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Talk to your vet for further information about toxic plants.
If your pet likes to chew on all manner of vegetation, either avoid having poisonous plants in your garden or grow them somewhere out of reach. Fenced areas will keep them away from dogs. A fully enclosed greenhouse may be necessary to prevent access by outdoor cats. Some plants could be grown in hanging pots.
Stones from fruit These can cause a choking hazard or lead to an intestinal blockage, sometimes fatal. Some berries, seeds and fruit stones contain toxic compounds.
Plum stones contain amygdalin which, when ingested, breaks down to become a poison called hydrogen cyanide Image courtesy of Pixabay
Snail bait is usually in pellet form and may contain ingredients to attract snails and slugs. A curious pet may also be attracted and the result of eating even a small amount can be fatal.
Some snail pellets are promoted as safer for pets as they have a bitter taste. However, some pets may still eat these.
Although liquid and granule forms of snail bait may seem safer they can still cause poisoning if a pet walks on it and then licks its paws.
Insecticides and weed killer Keep pets away from any area where you have used these products and ensure they can't access containers. There are products which claim to be pet safe but be sure to read all information carefully before using any in your garden. Boiling water will kill small areas of weeds and is definitely not poisonous to pets, but make sure they don't get splashed as you pour the water.
Fertiliser Fertiliser, blood and bone and the like may smell rather disgusting to humans but dogs love the odour and will be attracted to it.
If a dog eats fertiliser from the bag it can become unwell and experience seizures and tremors. If the fertiliser also contains pesticides to kill grubs, vomiting and diarrhea may result.
Eating blood and bone may result in vomiting, diarrhoea and possibly pancreatitis.
Keep your pets inside while applying fertiliser and follow any instructions printed on the bag. Make sure fertiliser is stored where pets can't get to it.
Compost Ensure pets can't gain access to your compost bin as rotting food scraps can cause illness. Dogs are particularly likely to explore compost if they get the chance. Eating mouldy scraps can cause increased heart rate, seizures, vomiting or the pet may go into a coma.
Keep pets away from compost. Image courtesy of Pixabay
Rodent baits Ratsak and similar may be left in the shed or around the house to poison rodents. Unfortunately pets can be attracted to the bait with fatal consequences. A pet can die from eating a mouse or rat that has consumed poison.
Some cats and dogs are not in the habit of eating things they find in the garden and are at little risk of poisoning. Dogs, especially puppies, are more likely to ingest something they shouldn't. The size of the pet, its age and general health and the amount and type of substance ingested can have an effect on how sick it becomes.
If you suspect your pet has eaten something it shouldn't have, contact the vet immediately for advice.