yard safety for dogs

Summer is approaching and so is the start of managing our yards – caring for our lawns, planting flowers,  landscaping and playing outside.  Dog owners know that most of our canine companions like to be wherever we are and, if left out in the yard unsupervised, they can start their own outside activities that can potentially get them in trouble. Unleash recommends you to watch out for the following:

Poisonous Plants
When designing and planting your green space, it's a good idea to keep in mind that many popular outdoor plants—including daffodil, tulips and azalea—are toxic to and dogs. Sago palm and other members of the Cycad family as well as mushrooms can cause liver failure, while rhododendron, azalea, lily of the valley, oleander, rosebay, foxglove and kalanchoe all affect the heart.  Know the species you have in your garden, do some research to find out which are toxic and which are safe and try to only plant non-toxic varieties of plants.

 Fertilizer
Just like you, plants need food. But pet parents, take care—the fertilizer that keeps our plants healthy and green can wreak havoc on the digestive tracts of our furry friends. Ingesting large amounts of fertilizer can give your pet a good case of stomach upset and may result in life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction. Be sure to follow instructions carefully and observe the appropriate waiting period before letting your pet run wild outside.

Insecticides
Like fertilizer, herbicides, insecticide baits, sprays and granules are often necessary to keep our gardens healthy, but their ingredients aren't meant for four-legged consumption. The most dangerous forms of pesticides include snail bait with metaldehyde, fly bait with methomyl, systemic insecticides with the ingredients disyston or disulfoton, mole or gopher bait with zinc phosphide and most forms of rat poisons. Always store pesticides in inaccessible areas—and read the manufacturer's label carefully for proper usage and storage.

Cocoa Mulch
Popular for its attractive odor and color, cocoa mulch also attracts dogs with its sweet smell, and like chocolate, it can pose problems for our canine companions. Cocoa mulch also contains the toxin called theobromine. This chemical can cause cardiac arrythmias (irregular heart rhythms), increased heart rates, hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, as well as seizures in our pets. Death can sometimes occur if large quantities are ingested. Leaves are a much safer alternative to use as long as chemicals haven't been applied. Cedar mulch also serves as a safer option.
  
Garden Tools
Unattended garden tools may seem like no big deal, but rakes, tillers, hoes and trowels can be hazardous to pets and cause trauma to paws, noses or other parts of a curious pet's body. Rusty, sharp tools caked in dirt may also pose a risk for tetanus if they puncture skin. While cats don't appear to be as susceptible as dogs to tetanus, care should be taken by storing all unused tools in a safe area, not haphazardly strewn on the ground.
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