There’s nothing better for those of us who live in cooler climates than a warm, spring day. Finally, the ground is dry enough and the sun strong enough to play in the yard, throw a ball for Fido, and enjoy the spring weather. But what happens when Fido develops alarming symptoms following a few hours of digging near your beautiful, flowering Azelea? You may want to consider your plant and shrub choices.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of annuals and perennial flowers for your outdoor living space that provide safe yet beautiful additions to your home’s landscape and your pet’s safety. Your landscape professional can guide you to the best choices for the safety of your pet(s).
Bright, beautiful flower beds can safely be planted with zinnias and Gerbera daisies without fear of making your dog ill. Roses, violets, snapdragons and marigolds are other good options to provide pops of color without hazardous canine toxins. Pansies, petunias and sunflowers are also safe flower selections to boost color in your garden. Don’t forget herbs! Basil, rosemary and thyme won’t harm Fido if snacked on.
Safe shrubs are also available for your yard, including some species of the colorful bottlebrush, roses, and the beautiful and fragrant magnolia bush (are they hardy for us?).
Annually, veterinarians see dozens of cases of plant toxicity in pets. Symptoms can range from mild to severe or fatal. If you notice your beloved pet playing in or near a plant and developing suspicious symptoms, try to identify the plant while seeking veterinary care; knowing what caused the illness could help with faster veterinary treatment.
Trust the design and installation of plants, shrubs and trees in your yard to experienced professionals who can help thwart pet poisoning.
In the Lakes Region, we’re lucky to have Meredith Place Veterinary Emergency Hospital available for veterinary care after hours and weekends. Their phone number: (603)279-1117.
For our neighbors farther away, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24/7/365 at