Spending time outside with your pet can be enjoyable and relaxing. But what happens when your pet’s curiosity gets the best of them? They may try to help you plant your new garden or even munch on the new pile of mulch you just had delivered.

Though gardening with your pet can be fun and entertaining, it is important to understand the risks and hazards of the products you are using on your lawn or garden. Your pet could unknowingly be playing in, digging in, or eating something toxic or very harmful.

Putting mulch over a flowerbed or around trees is a popular gardening trend. While most types of mulch are safe, there is one type that could be lethal to your best friend. Cocoa Mulch is a common mulch that can be purchased from most garden supply stores. Just like the name, it contains an ingredient found in cocoa and chocolate called theobromine. Dogs & cats metabolize theobromine much slower than humans, leading to potential poisoning or even death. If you see your pet chewing the mulch stop them immediately and monitor for early signs of toxicity such as vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea, muscle tremors, and increased urination. If you are worried or see any of these signs contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic right away.

Mulch isn’t the only thing to watch out for in your garden. Although cats and dogs may like a tasty treat and give those vegetables or flowers a bite, there are some varieties you should keep them away from. Here are some common things we plant in our gardens that are NOT healthy for your pet:

•onion, garlic, rhubarb.
•sweet pea, tulip, lilies, daffodil, iris, daisy, gladiola, geranium, dahlia, black-eyed susans, peony.

This is a small example of the many plants, veggies and fruits that can be toxic to your pet. If your pet does ingest any of these items, or any other poisonous plant, please call Chestermere Veterinary Clinic or take your pet directly to an emergency clinic.

Here is a short list of common plants that are ok for your pets:
•beets, cucumber, strawberry, buttercup squash.
•blue eyed daisy, Christmas cactus, marigold, moss fern, petunia, rose.

For a comprehensive list of plants, veggies and fruits that are OK for your pet, and a list of those that may be harmful, please visit the ASPCA website http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/.

Also be aware of the fertilizers and pesticides you use. If possible, don’t use any in areas where your pets frequent, use pet safe products, or keep your pet away from these areas for at least a few days after application.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact us at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic 403-272-3573, or visit us at www.chestermerevet.com.

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Happy Planting!

Sources
Wikipedia. “Theobromine.” June 22, 2010. Web June 22, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine.

Helmesnstine, Anne Marie. “Theobromine Chemistry.” About.com: Chemistry. 2010. Web June 22, 2010. http://chemistry.about.com/od/factsstructures/a/theobromine-chemistry.htm.

ASPCA. “Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants.” 2010. Web June 22, 2010. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/.

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