It’s not just plants and flowers you need to consider when planning a safe garden for your cat or dog, the following can also prove hazardous:
Acorns and Conkers are toxic if eaten. They may also cause obstruction and blockages in the digestive system. Be especially vigilant with puppies who will chew acorns and conkers given the chance.
Algae - Toxic freshwater algae (usually blue-green in colour, but sometimes colourless) has been known to poison animals. Dogs and cats should be discouraged from drinking from and swimming in ponds, especially in late summer when algae growth is most prevalent.
Bee and Wasp stings can be especially problematic if they sting inside the mouth. Always clear windfall fruit as dogs may be interested in insects and this could prove too much of a temptation.
Cocoa Mulch - Made of cocoa bean shell – a by-product of the chocolate industry – and like chocolate can be harmful if eaten by dogs. Consider using a less-toxic alternative, such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark.
Compost heap - A favourite to dig into, but be cautious of sharp sticks or potentially poisonous additions. Coffee, moldy food and certain types of fruit and vegetables such as grapes, raisins, avocado, onions, garlic or chives are toxic to cats and dogs.
Fertiliser and Insecticides - If consumed, fertiliser can give your cat or dog a stomach upset and may result in life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction. Always store pesticides in inaccessible areas — and read the manufacturer’s label carefully for proper usage and storage.
Garden tools - Unattended garden tools may seem like no big deal, but rakes, tillers, hoes and trowels can be hazardous to pets and cause trauma to paws, noses or other parts of a curious pet’s body.
Oral or skin irritation
Upset stomach / Vomiting / Diarrhoea
Excitability or lethargy
Dizziness / Loss of Balance
Remember to contact your vet immediately if you think your pet has eaten any toxic plants, flowers, or in fact any toxic items or substances.
Take along samples of the plant to the vet – or preferably any identification label, tag or pot information you may still have for the plant that has been eaten.