So spring has sprung and now that we are in a new home we would like to start making the yard pretty my goal is to add flowers, greenery and a herb garden. We moved in last spring but spent first year tackling a very horrible yard more dirt than grass and there was more weeds in the grassed areas than there was grass. This being our first place where we can plant anything and our second spring of having dogs i was wondering if anyone has any tips of safe dog friendly gardening. For example what flower, greenery and herbs to avoid, what are safe flowers, greenery and herbs to plant that if they get into they won't get poisoned. What plants are dogs naturally attracted to, or naturally avoid. Tips of how to keep them from digging, or out of the dirt. We are looking for flowers that will grow yearly on their own. Our yard is on the west side of our house. Despite how bad my yard was it has very healthy soil (house was a rental before we bought it and yard was very unkept). Our yard is medium sized and the patio takes up 1/3 of it so we would like to avoid taking up grace space to do raised garden beds. Oh i guess plants have to be durable enough to handle 2 dogs peeing in the yard.

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New dog, new problem: DH poured some granular soil acidifier in a bowl to put around the hydrangeas. The dog pounced and took a big mouthful from the bowl. (He doesn't do that with his food!) DH grabbed the watering can and washed out his mouth, and I looked up the product's web site. Fortunately it had a side-by-side comparison of it's organic ingredients (non-toxic) with the other type of acidifier (toxic).

So we bought organic garden soil this year, but organic does not always mean non-toxic. Does anyone have suggestions for safe garden products?

Here's a bit of info on fertilizer and soil prep.  If you do a search for dog-safe *insert product* (or pet-safe, pet-friendly, whatever terms you can come up with) you can often find some useful results, like this link for soil acidifier that claims to be pet/child safe.  When in doubt, call the manufacturer or check with an agency like ASPCA or animal poison control to see if they can help guide you in the right direction.


Happy gardening!

Looks like everyone has a good handle on what NOT to plant. Can I suggest you put in strawberries? We have a few pots of them and Twinkie jumps up to see how they are doing and loves getting them as a treat. I think if I had them in a bed she would just help herself:)
They sell these low wire fences that you push into the ground. This has kept the puppies out of my vegetable garden, despite their great desire for my beans.

Hope I don't get in trouble for this but it said it could be shared/emailed.

Gardening Products

  • Bone or blood meal – A lot of gardeners use bone or blood meal as a soil amendment as they are "organic." The problem with this is bone and blood meal are often very palatable to dogs – after all, they're freeze-dried blood or flash-frozen animal bones ground to a powder. That said, they can still be toxic to pets! While they are great organic fertilizers, when ingested, blood meal can cause vomiting and diarrhea, while bone meal can become a large cement-like bowling ball foreign body in the stomach – which can cause an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract – resulting in possible surgery to remove it! Some types of blood meal are also fortified with iron, resulting in iron toxicity, so make sure to know what is in your bag of blood!
  • Rose and plant fertilizers – Some of these fertilizers (particularly "rose foods") contain disulfoton or other types of organophosphates (OP). As little as one teaspoon of 1% disulfoton can kill a 55-lb dog, so be careful! Organophosphates, while less commonly used, can result in severe symptoms including SLUD signs – an acronym for salivation, lacrimation, urination, and defecation; seizures; difficulty breathing; hyperthermia; etc. In some cases, it can be fatal!
  • Pesticides/insecticides – Most pesticides or insecticides (typically those that come in a spray can) are basic irritants to the pet and are usually not a huge concern unless a pet's symptoms become persistent. Some may contain an organophosphate which can be life-threatening when consumed in large quantities. It is always best to speak to a trained medical professional if there are any questions.

I have both indoor plants and pretty extensive flower gardens outside.  We've trained the dogs to stay out of the beds (they have rock borders and we use red mulch).  Spirea is another bush that will hold up to dog pee and my day lillies have held their own despite the fact that those leaning over the rock border are consider "fair game."  Some flowers that are perennials that work well in our area (zone 6) are cone flowers, rudbeckia, sedums, corriopsis, ornamental grasses, and day lilies.  Hope this helps.




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