To make sure your pets enjoy your yard and garden as much as you, take time to familiarize yourself with common yard and garden hazards and take preventative measures to keep your pets safe year round.

When fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides are applied according to package instructions or by a qualified lawn care service, most of these products are not harmful. Be sure not only that the product is safe to use around your pets but that you are mixing or applying it correctly.

Dogs can be exposed to insecticides when digging up treated earth, chewing on pellets, or rooting around ant mounds shortly after insecticides are applied. Dogs are especially good at finding poorly stored containers, chewing them up and drinking or eating the contents. So, close the top tightly on all containers and put them away in an area where your pets do not have access to them. Cats like to roll in the grass or slink through the flower beds. Make sure chemicals have dried or are safe for them. They will get it on their fur.

Many pets chew on plants in the yard and garden. Dogs and cats seem to enjoy eating grass and then vomiting – most grasses are non-toxic. There are some plants that are toxic to pets, and the following web site lists some of the more common ones – http://essmextension.tamu.edu/plants/toxics/

Ilene Healey, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Posted in Other Landscape Tips