You're redesigning your backyard, and while your landscaping needs and wants will certainly top the list of the most important items, so should another very important thing—your dog. Your furry, four-legged friend is going to be spending a lot of time in your backyard. Because of this, you'll need to make sure that your landscaping choices are pet friendly and safe. You probably didn't know it, but there are several landscaping items, such as mulch and plants, that can make your dog sick and even kill him, if he eats them. Here are three of them.
Cocoa mulch is an attractive, sweet smelling mulch that many homeowners find appealing. Made from cocoa shells, it enriches the soil as the shells break down, providing plants and gardens with nutrient nitrogen.
That's a great benefit—if you don't own a dog. Cocoa mulch is poisonous to your furry friend. Just like chocolate, the mulch contains two chemicals, theobromine and caffeine. With its sweet, chocolately smell, it's quite enticing to your pet, but it can cause several health problems if it's eaten.
- irregular heartbeat
- stomach upset
- frequent urination
Because this type of mulch can harm or kill your dog, it's much safer to use mulch that is made from cedar, which won't harm your pet.
When landscaping your backyard, you'll no doubt want to add some plants and greenery to give your yard a pleasant atmosphere. Plant life can be a great addition to your yard, but it can also be a deadly one. In fact, according to vetstreet.com, over 700 types of plants can harm your pet.
Although the ASPCA lists all of the plants you should avoid, the list is quite exhaustive. Here are five of the most common to avoid.
If you don't see your chosen plants listed here, you can check with your vet or the ASPCA's list of toxic plants before adding them to your yard.
Small, Sharp Rocks
If you wish to add decorative stone to flower beds or backyard walkways, you'll need to be particularly mindful about the type of stone you choose. Always keep in mind that your dog will be sharing your backyard with you. Avoid rocks that are
- sharp—these can cut your dog's paws
- too small—small rocks can be easily swallowed, creating digestive problems for your pet
When selecting your decorative rock, pick sizes that can't be swallowed (larger than your pet's mouth). Also, remember to choose smooth, flat stones to decrease your pet's risk of injury.
If you avoid these three landscaping mistaking, you'll not only have a backyard that looks great but is also safe for your furry friend. Visit a site like http://cottonwoodland.com for more information.