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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let the planting begin!

Happy spring everyone! Recently a friend forwarded to me an
email regarding pets and the use of Cocoa mulch which people use in their outside gardens. (Thanks Deb) While I knew that this mulch was toxic to dogs it reminded me that even though we may still be expecting the oddball snow storm, that spring is officially here and people are planning the design of their gardens, or if they’re like me, they’ll just plant things willy ~nilly and see how it looks! In either case it is important to know what plants are toxic to dogs if they ingest them.

Even though my dogs are pretty much through the young chewing stage, something like the smell of Cocoa mulch can be so enticing to them that they may forget their grown up doggie manners and munch away! At the same token, some dogs never out grow the chewing stage and need to be watched at all times.

Because of the clodhopper size of my dogs I usually put up fencing or barriers around my flowers so that I can enjoy their sweet intoxicating aromas carressing my nostrils with every breath I take which is much better than smelling dog poop! At the same time I want to keep the dogs safe from harm. Now, if you own a fairly normal dog, this is one solution that may work. But if you own a group of mixed personalities such as I do, you will find that occasionally what you think is a barrier, is indeed not! Just take a close look at the picture above. While that fence did well for the puppies, it did nothing to deter Bentley’s focus on the sight and sound of the cascading water in the pond, thus with a graceful leap, in a clodhopper sort of way, Bentley flew over the barrier and enjoyed the cool water of the pond as well as the fish inside!

Oh my God! I have a house full of water dogs, how could I possibly think that a garden pond would not be enticing to them! Suffice it to say one should know and respect the breed qualities before planting their garden. Just as you would not put a bird feeder in range of a bird dog, you would not put a pond within reach of a Newfoundland!

So even though you feel you have taken proper precautions, it is worth checking the stability of them or just planting a dog safe garden to begin with. Below you will find a site that lists the plants that are toxic to dogs and those that are not toxic. Print them off and keep them handy in your personal phone book right next to your vets name and phone number! You may want to keep the below poison control hotline numbers handy as well.

The phone numbers and pricing are current as of today, Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Please note that prices may be subject to change. Always have a credit card on hand.

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435. ($65.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card) Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

Animal Poison Hotline – a joint service provided by North Shore Animal League America (NSAL) and PROSAR International Animal Poison Center (IAPC).1-888-232-8870 ($65.00 per incident. The charge is billed to caller's credit card only.) Staffed 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Pet Poison Helpline. 1-800-213-6680. ($35.00 fee consultation) or visit the website

Free poison control hot line via info from a coworker.   
Kansas State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital is offering a FREE poison control hotline for pet owners and veterinarian (Monday-Friday 8-5pm). 1+785-532-5679 . Dr Oehme, a vet and professor in toxicology and pathology oversees the hotline.

You should keep  3% hydrogen peroxide in your home should you be told by a vet to induce vomiting. If you feel your dog has ingested something toxic, always talk to a vet or one of the above hot lines before you induce vomiting as doing this (depending on the toxic substances) can do more harm to other body organs as the dog begins to bring it back up.

Hydrogen peroxide =1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. Put it on the back of the tongue. Once you give it, walk the dog around and jiggle the belly a bit to mix it up in there, vomiting should occur within 15 to 20 minutes. Link to instructions to induce vomiting.Also keep in mind that many seeds from fruit trees such as apple and cherry contain cyanide and can also poison your dog if eaten. The nuts from a black walnut tree are also toxic.

Toxic plants link  

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