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Creating A Pet Safe Garden

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The longer daylight hours of spring inspire many of us to plant gardens and freshen up the landscaping. Since March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, it’s a great time to review some of the more common pet toxins in our yards. When planning a garden project, be mindful of the use of mulch. Red mulches are generally made from recycled wood by-products such as chipped pallets and construction materials. Wood used for this purpose is treated with preservatives; the resulting mulch products contain dangerous levels of arsenic. Pine bark and cypress mulch is usually untreated, and more in keeping with South Florida’s native flora. It is also wise to avoid chemical pesticides and herbicides as these can be toxic to pets as well. Finally, if you are planting a vegetable garden, bear in mind that onions, chives, and all other members of the allium family cause life-threatening anemia when ingested by dogs and cats. Raised, waist-level garden beds are the best choice for keeping these cooking staples out of a pet’s reach.

 

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