Is your garden safe for your puppy?

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Your garden should be a safe, fun haven for the whole family, and that includes your cuddly new puppy. Many commonplace garden products can be dangerous and sometimes fatal to dogs. Slug pellets are especially toxic, as are several weed killers, so please, read the instructions carefully and above all, keep these products well out of reach of your pet. If he is unlucky enough to come into contact with something harmful, or you only suspect he has, contact your vet immediately.

Your puppy and plants

Many common plants can be poisonous to pets, and some are fatal. If your puppy is tempted to root out a bulb, for instance and start chomping away, stop him; they're very dangerous. Here are some other plants that are toxic to dogs, in some cases severely so:-

foxglove, primrose, yew, ivy, rhubarb, wisteria, lupin, sweet peas, poppy, chrysanthemum, laburuheum.

You can obtain a more comprehensive list from the Royal Horticultural Society (PDF) on 01483 224234.

Your puppy and garden tools

If your puppy is playing in the garden, never use a lawnmower or strimmer as these can cause severe injuries. Never leave tools with sharp blades and points lying around; if your puppy stands on one, he can be badly injured. And to protect you from getting a soaking, don't leave the hose pipe out for him to chew on!

Your puppy and water features

Make sure your water features and ponds are covered while your puppy is young. He could have trouble getting out of the shallowest water and injure himself or (heaven forbid) drown.

Your puppy and fencing

One of your garden jobs should be to check that your fencing is puppy-proof before he can be let out. The last thing you want is for your new acquisition to get lost or injured on the roads. And if you are using a wood preservative such as creosote, keep your puppy away until it is properly dry, and make sure tins aren't left open for him to drink from.

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