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How to make your garden toxin-free for dogs

4 minute read
How to make your garden toxin-free for dogs

Published at 12:26pm 26th June 2020.

With summer well and truly open us, the Dogs Trust is reminding us that some of the plants we might take for granted can be poisonous to our pets.

The charity is encouraging us to check that our gardens are as dog friendly as possible.

They've given us details of which plants to avoid: 

Dogs Trust infographic on toxic plants in the garden
Which plants are best to keep dogs safe in the garden?

Dog owners are also being asked to watch out for the signs of potential allergies or sensitivities in our dogs, including: 

  • Overzealous scratching
  • Excessive licking and biting of paws
  • Weeping or inflamed eyes
  • Redness or irritation to skin and ears
  • Changes in their coat

Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director said:

"Whilst many people will have been sprucing up their gardens during lockdown, as dog lovers we need to be mindful of the risks that some plant types can pose to our canine companions.

"You can still have a beautiful garden if you have a dog, but just be aware that certain plants and flowers can be harmful to dogs due to the toxins if eaten. If you have any plants in the house make sure that they are kept up high, out of your dog's reach.

"If you think that your dog may have ingested garden plants or is showing signs of being unwell, speak to your vet immediately."

Dogs Trust Dog in Garden concerns over poisonous plants
The animal welfare charity has some advice on what we could put into our gardens to make them safe and fun for our pets


The Dogs Trust has come up with a few other ways that we can adapt our gardens to help our dogs stay healthy - and have some fun too: 

  • Making sure your garden is secure - judge the height of any fences based on your dog's breed and temperament and regularly check for any gaps that your dog can wriggle through
  • Provide a variety of textures in your garden for extra sensory stimulation, such as non-toxic sand, grass, wood chippings or gravel, which may provide interesting places to hide dog toys and treats and for your dog to explore
  • Create a fun area for your dog to dig and play - if your dog loves to uncover things, create a space for them to show off their digging prowess and praise them for using this spot. 
  • Clean, shallow water features are also a great place to cool off on hot summer days
  • Avoid using products which may be toxic to dogs such as slug bait, rat poison and weed killer 
  • Gardens can harbour unwanted friends, so ensure your dog's flea, tick and worming treatments are up to date
  • Provide features with different heights that can give dogs vantage points to enjoy - railways sleepers, steps and small benches can all be used to create versatility
  • Ensure there is a shaded spot for your pooch in hot weather. Dogs heat up quickly and cool down very differently to humans and heatstroke can result in serious complications for dogs  
  • Make sure your compost heap and any fermenting fruit within are kept where dogs cannot reach