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Sep 6, 2012
Myth-busting your garden: Keep your pets safe outdoors
Burpee  Edible Gardening Team Members

Pets in the garden

We all love our pets, but our gardens and what we plant in them could make them sick. If your four-legged friends enjoy keeping you company while outdoors, read up on common misconceptions so they stay safe and healthy.

1. If a plant is safe for people to eat, it’s safe for pets, too.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Foods like tomatoes, grapes, onions, garlic and avocados can all be poisonous to our furry friends. It is important to keep your cat or dog on a consistently healthy diet of pet food only, this way they’ll be less likely to crave and eat our harvest – indoors and outdoors.

2. Natural instincts will prevent cats and dogs from eating anything harmful to them.
FALSE! Domesticated animals lose some of their natural instincts, like being able to decipher what is good and bad to eat in a natural environment. Things like curiosity or boredom will cause your cat or dog to eat things they shouldn’t, like plants, leaves or flowers. That’s why it’s important to pay special attention to the plants and flowers they have access to in your home and garden!

3. If my pet chews on any toxic plant, it will kill them.
Not so. Although the list of toxic plants seems long, you can rest easy knowing that most of them, if consumed by accident in moderation, will not kill your pet. Some serious side effects may result, but in most cases, these plants will cause your pet to have gastric upsets or a skin irritation. The important thing is to educate yourself on which plants are the most toxic and either remove them from your garden or keep them out of reach in your home.

Dogs and cats are like kids — you have to keep an eye on them to keep them safe! Be aware of the plants that could be a problem and come up with safe solutions to keep your critters happy in the garden.

Tags: backyard
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