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Pet Friendly Gardens

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    Many of us have beloved fur babies (dogs or cats) that are part of the family and share our homes and gardens with us.

    When living with a pet it is important to check for dangers in the home which may cause harm.

    This includes ensuring you have pet safe plants in the home and garden.

    Unfortunately there are some plants that can be harmful to dogs and cats.

    We all know someone with a dog that likes to eat everything and anything (labradors, golden retrievers and beagles I’m looking at you!) so it’s important to know what plants to avoid both indoors and out to help protect our pets.

    Indoor plants are incredibly popular in our homes these days.

    They help filter our air, look great and generally make us feel good.

    However, there are some indoor plants to avoid if you keep pets inside (especially pets that may be tempted to nibble on said plants).

    Indoor plants to avoid because they are toxic to pets include Devil’s Ivy, Aloe Vera, English Ivy, Dracaenas, Ficus sp., Diffenbachia, asparagus fern, Philodendrons and Zanzibar gem.

    Instead, if you’re looking for a pet friendly indoor plant try plants such as parlour palms, Kentia palms, African violets, Boston ferns, bird’s nest ferns, spider plants, Calatheas, moth orchids, peperomia obtusifolia, prayer plants, ponytail palms and cast iron plant (aspidistra).

    If you are unwilling to give up your indoor jungle and can’t bear to part with indoor plants that may be toxic to your pet, ensure that they are out of reach of your pet either up high on a shelf or in a room that they cannot access.

    Outside in the garden, it is also important to be mindful of the plants you choose, especially if your cat or dog tends to like to chew plants.

    Even ‘safe’ plants can cause discomfort or an allergic reaction to some animals, so it is important to keep an eye on them for any signs of distress.

    Obviously there are too many plants to list here which are considered pet safe so I’m just going to focus on some of the plants that are the most toxic for pets.

    Plants outside in the garden to avoid include (but are not limited to): oleander, all types of lilliums, brunsfelsia, cycads, alocasias, Aloe Vera, azaleas, gardenias, many types of bulbs, ivy, lantana, chrysanthemums, hellebores, yuccas and basically any plant that has a white milky sap.

    Like indoor plants, if you really love and just can’t give up the thought of not having some of these plants in your garden, just make sure they are out of reach from your furry friend by providing good fencing.

    Training and supplying adequate toys will also help to keep your pet from chewing your plants (and digging holes in the garden)!

    Keep in mind this list is not exhaustive, however it is a good start to understanding which plants to avoid.

    It is always important to check on the toxicity of plants when choosing plants for a pet friendly garden and be extra vigilant if you know your pet has allergies already.

    If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these harmful plants it’s best to call your vet as soon as possible.

    There are many safe options out there that will help ensure that you, your pets and your garden can live in harmony together.

    Happy gardening.