Across much of the country, spring has sprung, or at least is in the process of springing. I think technically it has sprung here in Portland, Oregon, though the gray, drizzly clouds that are looming outside the window don’t exactly make me want to spend the afternoon skipping through flowery fields (and probably my boss and my allergist don’t want that either). Regardless of the actual weather, looking at the length of my lawn at home (or feeling where the top of the blades hit my leg, which is about half-way up my shin), things are growing fast this time of year, and I need to start spending some time out in the yard.
I don’t know about you, but I find yard care to be somewhat stressful. This is partly because I have no natural ability when it comes to gardening, so feelings of inadequacy abound. More than that, though, I worry because if there is something toxic or dangerous in my backyard, my dog will find it. And if you don’t believe me, ask the intake person at Dove Lewis Veterinary Hospital to pull Riley’s medical records. I am now extremely careful about what I put in my yard, but because I have become paranoid, I’ve started allocating money in my annual budget for at least one activated charcoal treatment so I’m covered on the off chance that Riley unearths some new and delicious (and poisonous) item in the yard.
So what is the moral of this post? Don’t be like me. Rather than be paranoid, be educated. Take the time to understand what is growing in your yard. Learn what plants or flowers can be harmful to your pet. Do some research and find products to use in your yard that are safe for your pet. There are plenty of ways to make your backyard a pet-friendly space. If you’re looking for a good resource to start with, try the ASPCA’s Guide to Pet-Safe Gardening.
If any of you have tips on how to pet-proof your garden, feel free to share them here!