Northern Rhode Island Animal Hospital

152 School Street
Forestdale, RI 02824


Pet Safe Gardening 

With the nice weather finally here, a lot of people are outside enjoying their gardening and have their pets by their side. Read below for some information regarding gardening hazards to pets and some safe alternatives. Make sure to read instructions and follow warnings to keep animals off treated lawns for recommended time frame. Keep the phone number for Pet Poison Helpline (1-800-213-6680) on hand in case of any accidental exposure/ingestion.

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Gardening Hazards

  • Mulch - many types of mulch are toxic to pets, and this can also be a choking hazard.  Cocoa mulch often includes the same chemicals as chocolate, which is dangerous to pets. 
  • Chemical Treatments - please keep in mind that no chemical treatments are truly safe, and a lot of weed killers are known to cause health issues if ingested by people or animals.  Make sure to read the label to ensure safe usage, and you may want to prohibit your pet's access to areas where you have used these type of treatments. 
  • Baits - baits for rodents, snail, slugs, etc. can be highly toxic to pets and if ingested, can result in blood-clotting disorders, seizing, or other serious issues. 

Some Pet- Safe Alternatives

  • "Pet-friendly" pesticides/fertilizers - some companies are starting to recognize the need for pet-friendly gardening products and have developed safer products using natural materials, such as clove oil, thyme oil, rosemary oil or peppermint oil. 
  • Bugs/plants that attack or repel harmful insects - some bugs and plants won't harm your garden but will attack or repel harmful insects
  • Diatomaceous earth - a fossilized aquatic plant that is made into a powder that is toxic to a lot of bugs but is safe around kids/pets.
  • Organic fertilizers - products such as grass clippings, seaweed and fish emulsion are some alternatives to chemical treatments.