It’s great to have a garden your pets can roam in, and it’s lovely to watch them pootling about. You know they’re safe and you can get on with whatever it is you’re doing. But are they really safe? Are you aware of the dangers lurking in your garden for your beloved pet?
First of all you must make sure that your pet be it a cat or dog or rabbit, can’t escape from within the confines of your garden. Check for holes or gaps in fences and hedges, and remember that of course most animals can dig their way underneath fences. If you need to, board weak spots up, or put chicken wire across for a more discreet look. Just make sure you push it quite far down into the earth to prevent digging underneath.
You should also check what is growing in your garden, whether you planted it or not. Bright flowers look gorgeous but if they happen to be toxic to animals they’re deadly. If you miss something and you pet does manage to be poisoned you must seek veterinary treatment immediately and take a sample of the plant or flower with you.
BBQ’s are great and so fun, but not so fun for your pet if they burn themselves by jumping up at the grill. You should also make sure that everyone disposes of their bones from ribs and so on in a lidded container so that animals can’t chew them, causing choking or lodging in the throat.
Make sure you keep your animal indoors when you’re using machinery like mowers or strimmers. Not only can they chew on or get tangled up in the cables, they could inadvertently get cut or seriously hurt by the blades.
Creosote is absolutely toxic and if your pet gets it on their fur and licks it off, or drinks it when it hasn’t been put away or stored properly, it’s deadly. The same goes for slug pellets and other garden pesticides or cleaning agents. Make sure your pet is indoors while you use these, and let them out again when it is dry or thoroughly rinsed. If your pet needs the toilet, let them out but accompany them so they don’t get into trouble.
Make sure ponds are covered with chicken wire. Not only will this protect you fish it will stop drowning. Cats especially could drown when feeding their curiosity at a ponds edge.
Make sure there are shaded areas for you pet too, and plenty of water available so they’re not tempted to drink from ponds, or tins of paint for example.
You should be able to enjoy your garden with your pet, so make sure that whatever you do, you do it with the safety of your animals in mind.