Spring officially arrives on Wednesday, March 20, and I am sure almost everyone is ready for warmer temperatures, sunshine, and bountiful color!
This is the time of year when many of us dream of vibrant flowers in shades of red, yellow, purple, and blue, livening up the lawns that have been white or brown for so long. We envision working in our yards and gardens, preparing the soil (if it’s not still frozen), and we muse over seed catalogs and/or visit home and garden centers pondering ideas for making our residences sparkle with rainbow colors. We may even visit Home and Garden Shows, like the one coming to my town this weekend, seeing the outdoor trends and thinking how we might implement those plants, ornaments, and water features into our outdoor spaces.
In addition to spring’s arrival, the month of March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month. Did you know many types of plants and flowers are poisonous to pets and that some garden products and insecticides are toxic to our furry friends as well? As you think about spring preparation and planting, and if you have pets, keep in mind some plants and preparation products are hazardous to animals.
For example, tulips, azaleas, and lilies are toxic to dogs and cats. If you plant these flowers, you may need to erect a decorative fence around them – and keep your dog on a leash when in the area of planting and keep your cat indoors.
Many yard and lawn products are also toxic to our pets, including Roundup, which is highly used on lawns, gardens, and fields. In fact, lawn and garden products, such herbicide and fertilizer, insecticides, rodenticides, and plants are among the top 10 pet poison calls received by the (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in 2017.
Don’t let your beloved furry friend become one of those statistics; plan well with safety in mind for your spring and summer planting!
If you believe your pet has ingested a potential poison, contact your vet immediately as well as the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline; the number is (888) 426-4435
Three great references you should view and read as you plan your spring planting include:
ASPCA.com – Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List:
YourDogAdvisor.com – Garden Safety: Toxic Plants and Other Hazards in Your Own Backyard:
PetPoisonHelpline.com – Things in Your Yard That Are Poisonous to Pets:
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.