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Summer Curb Appeal: Pet-Friendly Edition

Two black and white puppies running

It’s that time of year where the sun is shining, lawn mowers are running, and the home improvement landscape departments are packed with shoppers.

Landscaping improves the curb appeal of your home and helps to add home equity. It is also a great way to get the family together outdoors! We’re not the only ones who can enjoy added curb-appeal; for many of us, our pets also appreciate a beautiful landscape. As you begin to fertilize, prune, plant and water your front or backyard oasis, make sure you are aware of the products and plants that can be harmful or even toxic to your four-legged, furry friends.

 Fertilizers:

Whether you are fertilizing your grass or your garden, be very careful when selecting pet friendly products.

Although you may think of organic products to be pet-friendly, some organic fertilizers can contain ingredients such as fish meal and cocoa bean mulch which can be toxic to pets. Look for fertilizers containing manure, seaweed, and compost as they are more pet friendly. Always follow the instructions on the packaging and keep bags out of your pets reach. What smells awful to us is often an enticing aroma for them.

 Fruits

While we think of fruit as a refreshing summertime snack, there are some things to keep in mind to be sure to keep your pets safe!

Few people know that the seeds and pits of many popular fruits like cherries, apples, peaches, apricots, and plums contain cyanide which can cause difficulty breathing and even death. The larger pits also pose a choking hazard. Ingesting the pulp from citrus fruits can cause an upset stomach but the true danger lies in the citrus oil which can be found in the peel, stems, and leaves.  As your fruit trees mature and grow this summer be sure to pick up fallen flowers, fruit, and leaves so they are not tempting to your dog or cat.

If you have fruit trees, think about adding garden fencing around this area to keep your pets clear from the area entirely.

 Flowers

One of the best parts of spring is the explosion of color from flowering plants. Unfortunately, some of the prettiest blooms can be toxic to dogs and cats. A few of the more common toxic plants include Lillies, Daffodils, Amaryllis, Tulips, and Oleanders. While all parts of Oleander are toxic to your pet, the most dangerous parts of the other plants is their bulb. For dogs that like to dig, the bulb of these flowering plants can seem like a treat.

There are great pet-friendly alternatives to the above that can add real curb appeal to your home. Lilacs, Forsythia and Spiraea are flowering shrubs that are low-growing and add that pop of color you’re looking for!

With careful planning and awareness you can enjoy your backyard and make it safe and beautiful for you and your beloved pet.