Keep your pet safe for summer

by Gazette Reporter
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Summer has arrived at last and, as usual, our thoughts turn to the garden.

However, this is also a time when the pet parent in me switches to “cautious” mode as I make a quick inventory of all the possible summer garden hazards that could place my doggies at risk.

And no, I don’t mean weeds, I mean the following: And do bear in mind, these are only guidelines, I don’t have the full list, nor am I able to give information regarding the lethal dosage so if you are concerned, contact your vet.


The fertilizer that feeds your plants could be the very thing that upsets your dog, especially if it contains ammonium nitrate which is toxic to animals.

Common plants

Rhododendron and azalea, daffodil, hyacinth, tulip, hydrangea and foxglove to name but a few.


Insecticide baits, sprays, granules and herbicides are great for your garden but are not friendly to your dog, especially if they include ingredients like snail bait with metaldehyde and fly bait with methomyl. A tip! Don’t wear gardening shoes in the house; (those who live chez moi already know the dangers of wearing muddy shoes in the house), they bring extra pesticides and dirt indoors, further exposing my pets when they lick their paws.

Coco mulch

Very popular with the landscape gardener, but, as it’s a by-product of chocolate it attracts dogs with its sweet aroma.

Depending on the amount ingested, this can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity and even seizures.

Consider using shredded pine or cedar instead?


As an eco friendly kinda gal I understand the whole Mother Earth thing and composting is definitely the right way to go, but as an animal lover, I have to say, you’re posing a huge risk to your pets if you don’t do it properly and responsibly.

We see a lot of incidents where dogs are being poisoned due to what is often referred to as “garbage gut”.

You see, the fermentation of certain items such as meat and dairy products means they produce clostridial toxins; these toxins languish in compost heaps, get raided by nosy canines who may then experience severe symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea, resulting in you having to rush them to the family vet for urgent attention.

Tools of the Trade

Keep an eye on rakes, hoes and trowels etc, they can prove dangerous to your pet’s nose, paws and other parts of his body, especially if they puncture his skin.

If the tools are rusty or mucky, there is a danger of your dog getting tetanus. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and lock your gardening tools in the shed.


Yep, pets have allergies just like you and me and, if the reaction is severe it can cause anaphylactic shock.

If you’re concerned or suspect your pet suffers from an allergy, have your vet give him the once over and he/she will best advise regarding medications and course of action to take.

Please remember, the above information is only a guideline and is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice.

If you are concerned about your pet, contact your family vet.

For more info log onto or email me at [email protected]

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