10 Dangerous Things in Your Yard for Your Dog

Pug with Flowers in His Face

We know you’ve worked hard to be sure your yard is fabulous.

You’ve planted flowers and gardens to make it look nice, you’ve built a swing set for the kids, a fence for the dog, and you’re so thrilled to have that shed to store things in. But, have you taken a good look to be sure that everything is safe for your furry friends?

Every year many animals are injured or even killed because of hidden yard dangers.

Of considerable importance are various plants that are dangerous when ingested. Plants are beautiful, but can be extremely toxic when the wrong ones become a snack for your furry friend.  If your cat/dog ingests one of these and shows any odd symptoms, be sure to bring the plant with you to the vet.

Here are the top 10 things to beware of in your yard.

  1. Lilly

Not all lilies are toxic. The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are “true” lilies including the Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show lilies. While toxic to dogs, they are HIGHLY toxic to cats. Just a couple petals can be very dangerous.

Lily Flower Dangerous to Dogs

  1. Hydrangea

Though beautiful and fragrant, hydrangeas can cause serious gastrointestinal issues when ingested. Symptoms include vomiting, depression/lethargy, and diarrhea.

Bunches of Colorful Hydrangeas

  1. Daffodils

The greatest danger is the actual bulb (not the flower). These beauties can cause vomiting, extreme salivation, diarrhea, convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, and cardiac arrhythmias.as.

Yellow Daffodils are Dangerous to Dogs

  1. Oleander (also known as Rose-Bay)

These blooms are gorgeous, but their flowers are very toxic. When ingested, according to the ASPCA, they can cause colic, diarrhea (possibly bloody), sweating, incoordination, shallow/difficult breathing, muscle tremors, and possibly death from cardiac failure.

Even the leaves and stems are dangerous, so it’s really best to keep your animals far away.

Close up of Oleander Flowers

  1. Azaleas

These are very dangerous to animals. In addition to the usual gastrointestinal symptoms, you may also see things like confusion, lack of coordination, or even paralysis.

Pink Azaleas in Garden

While not flowers, here are some other things that can pose a danger to your pets:

  1. Fertilizers

While fertilizing your yard, in general, isn’t harmful to your animals, it’s best to avoid it if at all possible. Keep them inside while any sprays are being put down so that they don’t get anything on their paws to lick later.

  1. Wooden Swing Sets

Wooden play sets produced prior to 2003 may have arsenic treated wood, which is toxic to both people and animals. You will want to keep all swing sets in good shape and painted as needed to prevent splintering. The splinters can be dangerous should your pet try to ingest them or step on them on the ground.  Also, wooden play sets have a habit of drawing bees and wasps. You can ask your local exterminator for tips on keeping those at bay.

  1. Bees/ticks/stinging insects

In addition to living on wooden play sets, stinging insects like to make their nests around or in homes, and mosquitoes breed in water, such as ponds or other areas of stagnant or standing water in your yard. With mosquitoes you need to watch out for heartworm and West Nile virus.

Ticks typically are found around tree-filled areas, but they can be anywhere. In addition to Lyme disease, ticks also carry ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and others.

Samoyed by Black Fence

  1. Garages/Storage Sheds

Though it’s great to have a storage shed or garage in your backyard, there are many things typically stored there that could prove dangerous to your pets (and kids). Among these are the various yard fertilizers and insecticides as well as antifreeze.

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol (EG), is extremely dangerous to dogs and cats. Sources of ethylene glycol include automotive antifreeze, windshield de-icing agents, motor oils, hydraulic brake fluid, developing solutions for photography, paints, solvents, etc. Ethylene glycol poisoning can be fatal unless treated immediately.

  1. Fences

While it’s great to have a fence for your pet, if it is not in good shape it can prove dangerous.

If Fido sees a squirrel on the other side, he may try to squeeze through a small hole or slide underneath. This behavior can lead to injury from metal fence parts that are sticking out. It is suggested that you walk the perimeter of your fence from time to time in order to keep an eye out for any holes and or other dangers.  If you have a wooden fence, this is also a good opportunity to inspect for stinging insects.

Yellow Labrador Laying Down next to Broken Fence

What To Do In an Emergency

If you notice symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, etc., the first thing to do is consult your vet. They will most likely ask you about your yard and home and potential dangers your pet may have encountered.

The Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center  (888-426-4435) can also help (but keep in mind that they may charge a consultation fee).

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Healthy pets live longer and have more fun with their owners. Please share this information with your friends and family so they, too, can know what to be on the lookout for in their yard.

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