We love our dogs and our gardens, but for many of us the two don’t mix well in the backyard. Since our season is limited, we try and make the most of our garden in New England. We have shared some simple tips for balancing the needs of pets and plants.
Garden Training. Start training right away. Let your dog know what parts of the garden are off limits.
Don’t leave your dog unattended. Don’t leave your dog alone outside if they can get access to your garden.
Protect your borders with a low fence. You will be surprised at how even the smallest fence can be an effective visual barrier for your dog. Raised beds are also great at rerouting your dog’s path.
Include your dog. As you garden, provide your dog with an activity. Gracie loves to play with her “outdoor” toys while we work in the garden. We also talk to her while working in the garden to keep her engaged with us.
Have fun. Enjoy your dog’s company and don’t get too upset if your dog knocks over a pot or kills a plant. Plants always grow back.
There are many plants that are toxic to dogs. Be mindful of what you buy and plant in your garden if you have a pet. Some of the more common toxic plants for dogs include: Autumn Crocus, American Holly, Azaleas, Bleeding Hearts, Daffodils, Hosta, Lilies, Rhubarb, Grapes, and Mushrooms. For a comprehensive list and photos of pet-safe garden plants, visit the Animal Poison Control Center at www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants.
Don’t forget that insecticides and herbicides can pose problems too. Research on phenoxy-type herbicides shows they increase the incidence of cancer. Be cautious when treating your lawns and gardens this summer. Keep in mind that you will need to create a dog friendly garden and backyard if you want your dog to live a long healthy life.
We encourage you to share photos with Gracie of your dogs working in the garden this summer. Please email Tammi at firstname.lastname@example.org with your photo and we will share it. Don’t forget to include a couple of sentences about your pup in the garden!