By Nan Talleno
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Here are some gardening safety tips to keep your dogs and cats healthy.
First, become aware of which plants and flowers are toxic and can even be life-threatening to both dogs and cats before purchasing or planting this year.
Onions and garlic are extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. Apple seeds and the pits in plums, cherries, peaches, and apricots contain a cyanide component, which can cause seizures. Keep your pets away from dangerous plants including daffodils, oleander, rhododendron, periwinkle, azaleas, tulips, amaryllis, lily of the valley, morning glory, chrysanthemum, autumn crocus, among many others.
The ASPCA has a complete listing on its website at ASPCA.org. So check the list before planting.
Make sure to carefully follow directions for fertilizer use and make sure there is no access to the bags. Insecticides can be extremely dangerous and fatal. Make sure to keep your pets completely away from the sprayed area for at least twenty-four hours. Keep your pets away from compost piles.
Animals can suffer from seasonal allergies too, but not exactly as we do most times. Watch for allergies in the form of skin irritations, itching, scratching, ear and paw infections or irritations.
Cocoa mulch attracts dogs with its aroma and sweetness; it contains as much of the toxicity to dogs as chocolate, and like chocolate, ingestion can also cause seizures. The ASPCA recommends a less toxic alternative such as shredded pine, cedar, or hemlock bark but always with supervision. Also, it’s best to think about fencing around your garden to keep your pets safe overall.
Finally, consider using organic products in your garden. This not only keeps your pets safe, but helps you to live eco-friendly as well.