For many of us our gardens and our home plants are our pride and joy.
They bring essential greenery and color to our living spaces, and they make our homes decidedly more Instagrammable.
But what many of us don’t consider is how our love of plants and flowers could be dangerous for our four-legged friends.
More than 65% of UK dogs, or around 7.8 million, are exposed to poisonous plants in their own gardens.
Chocolate is well known to be toxic to dogs, but – according to a study published by the Guide Dogs charity – more than half (51%) of UK dog owners are unaware that popular plants can be a problem. even greater threat to pets.
Only a third of owners (36%) know how to keep their eyes on their dogs while they are sniffing in the backyard.
Only half of dog owners have thought about poisonous plants when planning their gardens, although a third of owners (32%) admit to having caught their dogs eating plants.
Dangerous plants aren’t limited to the garden either – the common house sago palm is so toxic to dogs that a single seed ingested from this dwarf tropical tree could lead to death, but only 10% of owners are aware of it and 4% even did. the poisonous plant in their house.
Four in 10 (39%) other dog owners are unaware that certain plants can cause disease when ingested, and more than half (51%) are unaware that it could even be fatal. Other symptoms resulting from poisoning are diarrhea, excessive drooling, lethargy, and difficulty swallowing.
The most popular plants that pose a risk
The charity advises owners to also watch out for substances such as insecticides and poisons used in treating common garden pests (used by 39% of dog owners) that can be potentially toxic to dogs.
One in five dog owners have unwittingly used slug pellets in their backyard, unaware that the commonly available types can be fatal to their dogs and cause severe symptoms within an hour.
Owners should also be aware that, like humans, dogs can be stricken with hay fever – and don’t even need to ingest plant substances to experience negative effects.
Many dog owners have seen their dog suffer from an itchy skin (22%), cough (14%), and swelling of the eyes and nose (9%) due to allergies to pollen, grass, and grass. trees suspended in the air. However, as few as four in 10 (43%) knew it could be easily treated.
“It’s important that owners put their dog’s welfare in mind when planning a garden,” says Dr. Helen Whiteside, Research Manager at Guide Dogs.
“While you consider light and soil type when purchasing plants, be sure to think about dog friendliness as well.
“Our canine companions are curious by nature and explore the world thanks to their hypersensitive sense of smell and taste. If you are inviting a dog to share your home, you need to make sure that it is a safe space for them as well. Be sure to check labels carefully and do your research on which plants will work best.
How to make sure your garden is dog friendly
Award-winning garden designer Jonathan Smith shared his top tips on how to make your home and garden a dog’s paradise:
- Toxic trees: Trees can contain a lot of poison. The main ones to avoid are bird cherry (Prunus Avium), horse chestnut and oak. But the number one poisonous tree is yew, so make sure you don’t have any in your garden.
- Annoying blisters: Bulbs can be tempting to dogs due to their ball shape and buried underground, but many are poisonous, including hyacinths, daffodils, alliums, and tulips.
- Check the positioning: Adjust the position of the plants to keep hazards out of reach. Most dogs don’t usually eat ivy, but it can be potentially dangerous if eaten in very large quantities. So if you have large amounts of ivy, especially with berries, consider cutting them away from ground level.
- Quantity control: Be very aware of what you have in your garden. For example, while apples are generally safe for dogs, in large quantities they can be potentially dangerous due to the seeds. Try to reduce the number of apple trees you have or clean up fallen apples in the fall, so that not all of them are eaten.
- Safe for summer: For many colors, plants like roses, lilies, hollyhocks, and camellias are very safe for dogs.
- Perfect pots: For pots, borders and hanging baskets, opt for bedding plants like snapdragons, petunias, salvias, fuchsias and sunflowers.
- Towards the greenery: Choose a native and mixed hawthorn hedge, which is not only good for wildlife, but also much more dog friendly than laurel hedges which are often poisonous (with the exception of the berry). For lower foliage, grasses and ferns are generally good, safe options for dogs.
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