Tips on Spring Garden Safety with Dogs

Springtime means warmer temperatures, longer days, and more outdoor time for dogs. It’s also a time when you may start gardening or lawn upkeep which can create hazards for your pups. Dogs love to investigate new smells and gardens tend to be chock full of them, so it’s common to see dogs become curious and get into their pet parents’ garden. To keep your pups safe during gardening season, here’s a list of tips and reminders for you to consider as you plan out your garden.

Gardening and Lawn Safety Tips

  • It’s best to keep any garden beds or boxes in an enclosed area where your dog doesn’t have access. This is the easiest way to prevent dogs from damaging your plants or injuring themselves.
    • If you don’t have this option, you’ll need to monitor your dog when outside to ensure he doesn’t get to dig, eat, or destroy your plants or soil.
  • Make sure to avoid keeping hazardous plants where dogs can get to them. Even if they don’t seem enticing or you don’t think your dog will eat them, it’s not worth the risk.
  • If you plant fruits or veggies, be aware that some dogs may try to eat these. You can place these in a secure area away from your dog or use plant cloches or protectors.
    • Some fruits and veggies are also toxic to dogs, particularly in large quantities, so make sure any hazardous foods are out of your dog’s reach.
  • Look for gardening products with a pet-safe label.
    • Avoid cocoa mulch or fertilizers with iron, organophosphates, and carbamates as these are toxic to dogs.
  • Even though we try to get rid of weeds, keep in mind many weed killers are toxic to dogs. Be sure to read the label and not allow your dog contact with any weed killer.
    • There are some pet-friendly weed killers available.
    • Some weeds are difficult to eliminate and particularly harsh for dogs. Foxtails (also called grass awns in some parts of the country) are a major culprit of spring and summer veterinary visits.
  • Make sure your pup stays indoors while you mow the lawn, weed whack, or use other, sharp or heavy gardening tools. Some dogs may be overly curious about these items and become injured if they get too close, so it’s best to keep them separated.
  • If you currently have or plan to install edging in your yard, make sure you opt for a style with a rolled top, is plastic, or consider an alternative like brick pavers to avoid sharp edges that could cause injury to your dog.