North CarolinaAcademy of Small Animal Medicine

N.C.'s First Online Academy of Small Animal Medicine

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Pet Friendly Landscaping May 19, 2008

During spring, many people will take the opportunity to clean up their yards and even begin some new landscaping projects. People with pets may want to consider how the landscape may affect their pets. If your yard is fenced, take the time to look over the fences. Look specifically for loose boards, exposed nails, broken chain links, or any gaps that may allow your dog to escape. any dog friendly yard should have areas of shade to help your canine friend stay cool during the summer heat.
When considering plants for landscaping, avoid potential poisonous plants and trees. Some of the more common plants include: azaleas, lilies, morning glories, daffodils and tulips. A complete list of poisonous plants can be found at This site also lists non-toxic plants that can be used in your landscaping.
Although poison ivy is not typically a problem for our pets, it is best to keep your yard free of this plant. The ivy's oils can transfer to us from our pet's fur. Since your dogs are naturally curious, keep all lawn and garden products behind a secure door. Many of these products could be potentially poisonous or even fatal to your pets.
Home owners with dogs should avoid the use of cocoa mulch in their landscaping efforts. Although people enjoy the color and smell, our dogs do too and that could be a potential problem. Cocoa mulch contains high levels of caffeine and theobromine which can cause toxicity and severe effects in our dogs.
Keeping the lawn well manicured is also essential to prevent irritating awns and foxtails from attaching to our pets. These irritating seeds can also get stuck in the ears, nostrils, and between the toes of our pets.
Finally, avoid the use of stainless steel edging. This product has a sharp edge that can easily cut dog's feet or faces.

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