Article contributed by freelance writer and volunteer dog walker Lucy Wyndham
According to The Humane Society, thousands of dogs die each year after consuming a poisonous outdoor substance, including plants found in the garden or yard. Whether you’re planting a garden or spending a day watching an outdoor sporting event, the dangers for your dog are endless. Protecting the pooch is important whenever time is spent outdoors. Restraints, such as leashes or portable pet crates, are a good idea, as is knowing exactly what grasses or greenery will harm your beloved pet.
Know the Area
Begin by knowing what plants are common in your local environment, and which are poisonous for dogs. For example, onions and garlic may grow wild in some areas of the country, and are no good for dogs. Daffodils, which are common for their hearty beauty, are extremely dangerous to canines, according to Cornell University. Do some research to learn the plants and types of grasses common in your area and what your neighbors are planting in their gardens. If your dog gets away from you accidentally, you’ll want to know what he or she may find.
Train the Dog
Start as soon as the dog comes to live with you. Train the dog to come to your call, and use restraints where needed while the dog is outdoors. A trained dog will be a safe dog. If possible, separate your personal garden from the dog’s exercise area. This will help avoid trouble for both the dog and the garden. Use barrier plants to set up natural boundaries for the dog, as most will not try to run through thorny or tall plants, according to Better Homes and Gardens. When taking the dog to a park or other open area, watch him or her closely to avoid plant consumption.
Consider a Dog Garden
It is possible to build a dog-safe garden, according to Cornell University. Avoid toxic plants in the garden if possible. Provide a running path for the dog while avoiding cocoa shell mulches. The dog will try to eat this type of mulch, and it is toxic. Use driftwood or border plants along the path to encourage the dog to stay in its designated area. Provide clean water so the dog will not try to drink water that includes toxic materials. Put away pesticides or fertilizers before the dog comes outdoors, and make sure to show the dog his or her boundaries.
Knowing what is dangerous for the dog and planning ahead of time help keep every breed safe. A little planning, along with restraints and rules, help dogs stay by our sides for many years. Know what the dog cannot eat, and create safe ways for the dog to enjoy time with you outdoors every day.