It’s lovely to be out and about in the garden in the warmer weather, but beware of unwittingly introducing hazards for your pets as some of the plants and products we commonly use in our garden can be very toxic to animals.
Slug pellets commonly contain the chemical metaldehyde and are generally blue or green in colour. Metaldehyde is very toxic to pets and since many dogs will eat almost anything, slug pellets should only be used with great care, keeping pets away from areas where they are used and stored.
Cocoa shell mulch is also to be avoided if you have a dog. Many gardeners apply a thick layer of mulch to their flower beds in the Spring and Summer months. A little known, but potentially lethal hazard is the use of cocoa shell mulch. Dogs are attracted to these shells by their smell, but they contain theobromine which is very poisonous to dogs. As a result, it is safer to use an alternative such as tree bark.
Plant bulbs are another seasonal hazard and can be fatal if dug up and eaten by your pets. Tulips and daffodils are toxic to dogs and cats; although all parts of the plant are toxic, it is the bulbs that actually contain the most toxins. Lilies are also very toxic to cats and pose a hazard in the garden and also as cut flowers.
As a general rule, when adding anything to your garden, always read the label carefully regarding the hazards that are relevant to your pet. For a really comprehensive list of toxic plants, have a read for dogs here, for cats here and for rabbits here.