We are entering the best part of Western New York weather which is late Spring and Summer when we can be outside more with our pets. Dr. Susan Wylegala says one of the activities she enjoys doing is gardening and it is wonderful to have your pets out there with you. She says the things you need to be cautious of is that there are things that can be toxic to dogs and cats, although it is mostly dogs, she is talking about today. They tend to spend significantly more time outside.
Dr. Wylegala says to stay clear of cocoa mulch. Mulch made of cocoa shells does have the main toxic ingredient theobromine in it which is also contained in chocolate and in coffee and she says they do see some dogs that consume enough mulch to create an issue for them. Her general statement for people with pets is to stay away from those types of mulches.
Really do research when you are planting your plants. There are a number of plants that are toxic to both dogs and cats so do a little bit of research before you go to the gardening center or at a minimum make sure your pets don’t have access to those plants especially if you are not out there with them. Dr. Wylegala says you don’t want them to get into something they are going to dig up and then create an issue with.
If you are applying any fertilizer or weed control products, please read the labels, and make sure they are pet friendly. She says there are a number of organic products out there that are pet friendly even if a pet did get into it. If you are applying something else, she says to really read the manufacturers instructions. Make sure you are taking the appropriate precautions in terms of the amount of time that product needs to get absorbed so your pet will have minimal exposure to it.
This can be a wonderful time of year to be outside with your pet but just be cautious especially with those products and plants you are using outside to make sure it is a safe environment for your pet.