Creating A Dog Friendly Backyard
It’s 5:00 am and you wake up to the sound of soft whimpering. It takes you a minute to figure out what it is, but you soon realize it’s your new puppy telling you he needs to go outside. Stumbling out of bed and down the stairs, you mindlessly open the back door to let him out, not even thinking twice. But you should! There are many dangers that lurk in the backyard, including poisonous outdoor plants and mushrooms that are bad for dogs. Read on for tips to protect your pup and creating a dog friendly backyard.
Poisonous Outdoor Plants for Dogs
Dogs will sometimes eat grass and many will eventually take a bite out of the other plants and flowers in the backyard. Many theories have been proposed to explain why dogs eat plants; from pure enjoyment of the taste, to using plants for medicinal purposes to help them vomit. And even though some dogs vomit or exhibit gastrointestinal upset when they eat ANY type of plant material, there are hundreds of poisonous outdoor plants for dogs that can cause serious symptoms including seizures, cardiac arrest and coma. Some of the most frequently encountered poisonous outdoor plants for dogs are:
• Lenten rose
• Bleeding hearts
• Morning Glory
• English Ivy
The first step to creating a dog friendly backyard is to search online for a comprehensive list of poisonous outdoor plants for dogs. Next, take an inventory of the plants currently in your yard and remove all of the poisonous outdoor plants for dogs. And make sure to reference the list before you plant anything new!
Outdoor Plants Safe for Dogs
While the list of dangerous plants may seem overwhelming, there are many outdoor plants that are safe for creating a beautiful, dog friendly back yard. Again, performing a quick online search will give you a comprehensive list of non-toxic outdoor plants safe for dogs. A few of the most popular are:
• African Violets
• Windmill palms
• Purple basil
• Creeping rosemary
• Pineapple sage
• Coral bells
• Tiger lily
All it takes is a little research about which outdoor plants are safe for dogs in order to create a dog friendly backyard!
Mushrooms Bad for Dogs
Depending on the climate you live in, you may get mushrooms in your backyard. But increased rainfall in the summer and fall can cause mushrooms to pop up in shady areas seemingly overnight. And before you know it, your dog runs straight over to investigate (and taste) the new addition to his backyard domain.
Out of thousands of wild mushrooms, there are about 100 mushrooms bad for dogs. Ingestion of even very small amounts of these can have toxic and life-threatening effects. If your dog ingests a mushroom, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately so they can begin treatment and induce vomiting if necessary. Many veterinarians will suspect the worst case scenario when treating dogs who have ingested an unidentified mushroom, assuming that it was toxic. IV fluids, blood work monitoring, and liver protectant drugs may also be needed during treatment. Since there are many mushrooms bad for dogs, the key to creating a dog friendly backyard is awareness! Walk through the yard daily and remove them as soon as you spot them.
Dog Friendly Backyard Ground Cover
We’ve explored poisonous outdoor plants for dogs, outdoor plants safe for dogs, and the mushrooms bad for dogs. Now it’s time to examine dog friendly backyard ground cover. The most popular ground cover is grass, but dog owners are all too familiar with the nasty effects dog urine can have on it and the wear paths pacing dogs can create along fences. For those of you who want to create a dog friendly backyard without grass, you have many options. From full sun to dry climates, dog friendly backyard ground cover can be a game changer. A few to consider include:
• Silver Carpet
• Elfin Thyme
• Irish Moss
• Miniature Stonecrop
• Labrador Violet
• Snow in Summer
• Winter Creeper
These dog friendly backyard ground covers create the lush, soft, green landscape you desire, and meet the needs of your dog.
There are so many plant options to help create a dog friendly backyard. Now it’s up to you to transform your backyard into a safe haven for your pup. Take a trip to the garden center, grab your gardening tools, and make it happen! Your dog will thank you.