Landscaping for Plants and Pets

Plants and pets are NOT mutually exclusive. When designing yard landscaping there are many factors to consider – water, soil, sun, shade, and so on. What about pets? Yes, they must be considered since many plants and flowers can make them sick. Some are toxic and have the potential to kill the pet, others will just make them sick or feel bad.

In Florida palms are a popular landscaping plant and they make great additions to any area. But if you have pets watch out for sago palms particularly the seeds. Although all parts are very toxic and seem to be very appetizing to pets, the seeds are the most poisonous. Eating this plant can lead to your pet’s death.

A plant that many people keep on their kitchen window sill or on the back porch is an aloe vera. While the gel from the leaves is good for treating minor burns and sunburn, it is not good for your pets. Although not toxic, eating the leaves will make them sick.
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Azalea is a plant of the south and blooms in the spring although the green leaves are vibrant all year. It has been said that the azalea flower is the sign of spring in the south. As beautiful as this plant is for the yard, it is toxic to pets. If treated early the pet will recover.

Do you have a butterfly garden or plant flowers that butterflies enjoy? If so, milkweed is probably one of the flowers planted especially native Florida milkweed. This is a popular flower for the monarch butterfly and also pets seem to enjoy it. While good for the butterflies, it’s very bad for pets. Left untreated the pet can die from eating this flower.

Oleander plants can be used as a shrub or grown as a tree. They are used for bordering as well as screens. Their leaves are bright green and the flowers range in color from white to pinks to red. As beautiful and vibrant as the oleander is, it is also toxic to both humans and pets. If not treated in pets, it can lead to cardiac failure.
A beautiful tradition is poinsettias with their vibrant colors. They are used in homes, churches, shopping malls, and city squares to signify Christmas time. Pet owners have been told to watch out, poinsettias are poisonous for pets. While the pet may have some minor issues if they eat the plant, the poinsettia is not toxic.
Most home gardens have tomato plants. There is nothing better than a home-grown tomato for you but not for your pets. The plant probably won’t kill them but they won’t feel very good after eating it.

For whatever reason, pets gravitate to plants and love to munch on them. To reduce a dog’s need to eat plants it has been suggested to add brand flakes to their food or give pet food with a greater amount of vegetable fiber. While this may help in curbing their munching on plants, it is still best to be aware of what plants are in your yard and surrounding areas.

Your yard should be a place of peace and serenity to calm body and soul not only for you but also for your pets.

Landscaping for Plants and Pets