The summer months are full of vibrant and joyful times. Both pets and owners love to be outside enjoying the sunshine and it is a great time to take your dog on lovely long walks on a beach or simply just chill out and relax in the garden with your pet. When spending a lot of time in the garden it is wise to know of any potential dangers that could harm your pet.
Whilst dogs tend to chew and eat anything, cats are slightly less inclined to ingest objects unknown to them. However, this doesn’t mean that they cannot be affected by the dangers of the garden. Both cats and dogs will enjoy exploring the multitude of new scents that a garden in bloom produces and they may try to lick, chew or indeed ingest the plants that are producing the smells. It is important for owners to be aware that some plants can be toxic to cats and dogs if ingested; a well-known case being the common garden Lily. To be sure that a pet is protected, it is always a good idea to do a bit of pre-planned research using a comprehensive list of plants that are poisonous to animals.
Another potential hazard to a cat or dog’s health is the use of snail or rodent pellets. Used to keep pests at bay, they are poisonous, highly toxic and can be extremely harmful if ingested. Slug pellet poisoning has a number of symptoms that range from nervousness, apprehension and an increased excited mood to muscle tremors, fever, seizures, vomiting, diarrhoea, fast heart rate and respiratory failure. Rodent pellets can result in kidney failure, blood clotting and swelling of the brain. If you think your pet has swallowed a pellet then it is essential that you get them to your vet straight away. Take the packet that contained the pellets with you so that the vet can see exactly what your cat or dog has swallowed.
Fertiliser is often used in gardens and whilst there are many different types, most of them will act as a gastrointestinal irritant if ingested; as do insecticides. However, it is important to note that some fertilisers are mixed with other chemicals (such as organophosphates or carbamates) that can cause more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, fever, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Bone meal is an organic fertiliser made from grounded animal bone that is used to encourage strong root growth. If enough of it is ingested then it can form a solid block in the stomach that may need a surgical incision to remove it.
If you have a lake, river, large pond or any kind of water in or near your garden, then your dog should never be allowed to swim in it if there is a presence of blue green algae as it is toxic and poisonous if ingested. Whilst it is quite rare, it becomes more commonplace if there is an elongated heat wave. Naturally your dog will want to dive in to the water even more during the searing heat so this makes vigilance and checking the water even more important.
Please be aware that this article is for advice purposes only and is in no way a medical document. If you are worried about your pet suffering from any of the dangers mentioned above, then please contact your local vet immediately.
For more information on how to keep your pet safe, visit our blog, article and guide pages. Insuring your pet gives you peace of mind that you and your pet will be covered if anything were to happen. Animal Friends offer a range of policies for dogs, cats and horses, and we also insure older pets.