Spring is here and it feels great to get outside and dig in the dirt! There are a few things to look out for when gardening with your furry companion:


Be familiar with what plants can pose threats if ingested in your garden.  Tulip bulbs, daffodils, and some other bulbs contain glycosides that can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac, and neurologic issues if ingested. Prompt care is needed if your dog snacks on these.

Lilies (Asiatic, easter and Stargazer) contain oxalates that can to toxic to kidneys, and cats are especially sensitive to even small doses.  Lily of the valley can cause heart toxicity.

Yew bushes, Aconitum (Monk’s Hood), Foxglove, and Rhododendrons are also ones to keep your pet away from!


As well as causing gastrointestinal upset, compost can sometimes host fungal toxins that can cause neurologic symptoms and organ damage. Fence your compost safely away from pets!


Bone meal and organic fertilizers are very attractive to pets,and can cause gastrointestinal upset. Be sure to fence away any areas where this is used and be sure to water in fertilizers well.

Lawn fertilizers, and those with weed and grub control should be watered in, and wait 24 hours before you pet goes on the grass


Many people spray the yard for ticks this time of year. These sprays often include pyrethrins/permethrins that can be toxic to dogs if they are exposed to them before they are dry. Cats are quite susceptible to neurologic effects of these sprays. Please check with the company and read the label thoroughly.  Consider some more natural alternatives.

Chemical slug bait (metaldehyde) can be very poisonous to dogs causing seizures. Consider opting for a less toxic alternative like Iron Phosphate (sluggo)

Cleaning supplies: 

Bleach, soaps and other cleaners can irritate skin, eyes and gastrointestinal system!  Be sure to store and use them with care when your pet is outside, and be sure things are dry before your pet has access to these areas.