Did you know that Responsible Dog Ownership Day is in September? For all you dog moms and dog dads out there, we know that you probably view every day as an opportunity to give your pet the best possible care. But in honor of this observance, we’re touching on one more task you may not have given much thought to: gardening with your dog.

Gardening with dogs with dog and flowers

Even though summer is ending and you may not be spending as much time in your garden as you did the past couple of months, there are certain plants and flowers that thrive in the fall — and if you’re like us, that means you’ll definitely head out to the garden at least a few more times before the cold sets in. And should your a-DOG-able pet join you as you head outdoors, here are four tips to help keep them safe.

1. Be mindful of fertilizer

Of course your plants need food to thrive, but just like you wouldn’t indulge in theirs, neither should your pets. In fact, if your dog consumes any fertilizer from your garden, it could really take a toll on their stomach. As a result, your best bet is to keep dogs away for a while after tending to your plants and flowers.

2. Steer clear of cocoa bean mulch

Although this type of mulch is known to produce a chocolate-like smell (yum!) and looks great in any garden, it, too, can cause trouble for your furry friends. Known to contain theobromine, which is toxic for dogs, this gardening product could lead to health problems (such as vomiting and muscle tremors) in your pets.

3. Clean up after yourself

Always make sure to put all gardening tools back in their proper place. Even though some may be small, they can still be sharp and harmful to dogs. The same goes for the plants and flowers themselves. If you haven’t finished your work but plan to return to it later, store leftovers at a height that your pets can’t reach; even if they are pet-safe plants, plants and pets may not always be a good mix if you’d like to avoid a mess!

4. Research plants and flowers first

One of the most important things you can do to ensure your dog is kept safe in your garden is research which plants and flowers are safe for pets. While you may be a fan of azaleas, hyacinths, or larkspur, certain parts of certain plants may be poisonous for dogs. Therefore, if you have a dog at home, your garden should always be filled with pet-safe flowers and plants only.


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