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 hurt, sickened or killed because of hidden yard dangers.
Of considerable importance are various plants that are dangerous when ingested. Plants are beautiful, but can be extremely dangerous 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.
Not all lilies are toxic. The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are “true” lilies including: 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.
Though beautiful and fragrant, hydrangeas can cause serious gastrointestinal issues when ingested. Symptoms will be vomiting, depression/lethargy and diarrhea.
These are poisonous to your pet, but 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.
4. 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, recumbency, and possibly death from cardiac failure.
Even the leaves and stems are dangerous so it’s really best to keep your animals far away.
While not flowers, here are some important things to watch out for your animals’ safety.
While fertilizing your yard, in general, isn’t harmful to your animals, it’s best to keep them inside while any sprays are being put down so that they don’t get anything on their paws to lick later. Once the spray is dry, this is typically not an issue.
7. Wood Swing Sets
Wooden play sets produced prior to 2003 may have arsenic treated wood. That chemical, arsenic, has proved toxic to both people and animals. Since it’s been over 10 years, you probably won’t have to worry about this but these play sets can have other dangers.
You will want to keep them 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.
8. Bees/ticks/stinging insects
In addition to living on wooden play sets, stinging insects like to make their nests around homes and mosquitoes particularly enjoy water areas like ponds or any runoff areas in your yard.
Ticks typically are found around treed areas, but can really be anywhere. In addition to Lyme disease, ticks also carry ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and others. With mosquitoes you need to watch out for heart worm and West Nile virus.
9. 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 (radiator coolant, which typically contains 95% ethylene glycol), windshield deicing agents, motor oils, hydraulic brake fluid, developing solutions for photography, paints, solvents, etc.Ethylene glycol poisoning is most always fatal unless treated nearly immediately.
10. Unkept 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 dangers.
If you have a wood fence, this is also a good opportunity to inspect for wood insects that can also sting.
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 can also be of assistance, but keep in mind they charge a $49 fee to assist you.
In addition, the ASPCA operates a 24 hour/365 days a year poison control hotline at (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.
We at Pawedin take the health of your pet seriously. 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.