Cultivating a pet-friendly garden

What plants are safe for pets?

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  • | 8:43 a.m. June 11, 2015
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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DEAR PAW'S CORNER: There is plenty of advice out there on outdoor and indoor plants that aren't safe for your cat or dog. What plants can they be around? – Gerry H., Mobile, Alabama

DEAR GERRY: There are plenty of plants, fruits and vegetables that you can grow indoors and out, without worrying that your pet will get into them.

The website lists hundreds of plants and flowers that are safe for dogs, and even points out a few that are useful, such as varieties of squash and cucumber. Indoors, pet-friendly houseplants include bamboo, cactus, cast-iron plant and ponytail palms.

So, are there plants that you want to grow but aren't sure if they're safe for your pets? Do your due diligence: research whether or not a specific plant is toxic to pets, what parts of it are toxic and how severe the effects can be.

Grow such plants in an area that is inaccessible to your pet. For example, if you're growing plants indoors, do so in a separate room such as a sunroom and place them in hard-to-reach hanging baskets. Keep long fronds or branches trimmed back. Outdoors, place the plants in an area that is away from your dog's normal roaming area, or fence them off.

Monitor your pets anytime they may be around plants that aren't safe. If they ingest part of the plant, watch carefully for signs of toxicity (vomiting, drooling, lethargy or listlessness, among other symptoms). If the plants are known to be very toxic — such as lilies, for cats — immediately take your pet to the veterinarian without waiting for symptoms to appear.

Send your questions or tips to [email protected].

(c) 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.


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