Friday, August 20, 2010

Dog Friendly Gardens

We have a new addition to our family. Her name's Bonnie and she's a 6 month old Chihuahua x Jack Russell. She was adopted from an organisation called SAFE and we can't recommend the experience enough. Prior to bringing her home they conducted a yard inspection to make sure our garden was suitable for a her.

The first obvious danger was our pool. Bonnie needed to learn where the steps are should she fall into the pool when we're not home. Because it's winter at the moment we didn't have the heart to throw her in the freezing water. So in the meantime we put up a temporary bamboo fence to prevent her from gaining access to the pool.

They had a good look at our fences and gates to make sure she couldn't escape. Being a small dog she didn't have much chance of climbing these but we needed to make sure there weren't any small holes she could get through.

Bonnie had been with us for a few days when some not so obvious dangers came to light. I noticed her eating something outside which in itself wasn't unusual as puppies eat everything! On further investigation she had eaten a berry which had fallen from a Cape Lilac tree hanging over our fence. Knowing that these are poisonous I rushed her to the vet who induced vomiting.

While she was at the vet for observation I hastily cut the tree back to prevent any future incidents. The tree was on council land so we reported it to them because we were concerned that it was near a children's playground. It has since been removed.

When I was in the garden I noticed some more berry producing plants that are also toxic. I'd been meaning to remove these Asparagus Ferns for a while because, like the Cape Lilac, it's also a weed. It spreads readily when birds ingest the berries.

If you're wondering if any of the plants in your garden are dangerous to dogs, this is a good website ASPCA.