Yard and Garden Dangers: How to Keep Your Pet Safe

In Alberta, we all look forward to warm weather so that we can spend time outdoors. Working and playing in the yard and garden are very popular activities for the entire family - including our pets. There are some potential dangers in your yard, however, that could affect your pet’s safety and health. 

Cautions to Consider

Pesticides and Fertilizers

These chemicals can be harmful to both people and pets. Avoid letting your pet onto lawns that may have been treated with harmful chemicals. If you suspect your pet may have been exposed to a chemically treated lawn, wash his feet with mild soap and water. If you plan on applying fertilizer or pesticides to your yard or garden, first speak with a lawn care professional regarding lawn care options. Some companies offer organic pet and child friendly programs for yard maintenance.

Cocoa Bean Mulch

Used for agriculture and gardening, cocoa bean mulch is made with cocoa beans which contain chemicals that can be toxic to animals. Avoid using this substance in your garden and keep a vigilant eye on your pet when he is in unfamiliar yards.

Poisonous Plants

Some plants such as ivy and hydrangea are toxic to animals. Watch your pet carefully so that he does not ingest any unfamiliar plants. If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, take him to a veterinarian immediately.

Garden Sheds

Animals are very curious creatures and like to investigate places such as your garden shed.  Be sure your shed door remains closed at all times and keep lids tightly fastened on any substances you are storing.

Sun Exposure

When spending time outside make sure that your animal has plenty of fresh water and access to shade or a shelter. Avoid exposing your pet to sunlight during peak periods of the day – noon to 4:00pm. You may apply sunscreen to hairless or short-haired breeds to protect their skin. 

Keep Cats Indoors

Although it may seem like a good idea to let your cat explore the great outdoors, the safest place for your cat is indoors. Because cats are very curious animals, they are more likely to be exposed to toxins or get trapped in garden sheds or garages. Cats will live full and happy lives indoors provided that they have food, access to fresh water, toys and are encouraged to exercise through play.