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I’ve Started Working On My Garden As The Weather Is…

S. Asked

I’ve started working on my garden as the weather is starting to get warm enough to work outside. I’ve been trying to do research on flowers that are safe for animals. It seems like every flower I want to plant is toxic to dogs, such as dahlias and daffodils. Can you suggest some flowers that are dog friendly? Also, I love gerbera daisies, but I’ve heard those are also toxic to dogs–is this true?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, It is that time of year when we start thinking about what we want to plant in the garden this upcoming spring. Having a dog, especially one that likes to eat plants, is a concern when it comes to choosing new plant material. There are many plants or particular parts of a specific plant that are toxic to dogs. In most cases a dog would have to consume large amounts of the harmful material. But some plants such as lilies are highly toxic and even small amounts can be very harmful to our four-legged friends. Thankfully dogs have very good senses and if the plant does not smell good to them they may leave it alone. As most dog owners will attest, they like to eat things we would not expect them to! For a list of safe plants you can visit the ASPCA Web site for a list of nontoxic plants available from the National Animal Poison Control Center. You may also want to contact your veterinarian. Don’t be too discouraged–there are many plants we can introduce into the garden that are not toxic to dogs. As far as I know gerbera daisies are not harmful; in fact I recently read they help remove toxins from the air. According to the APCC gerbera daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) are not toxic to dogs. Dahlias and daffodils are poisionous but with the daffodils the bulbs are the main concern. Training will go a long way to keeping our dogs out of the planting beds and away from potential danger. The plants will be happier too!

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