How to have a pet-friendly garden this spring

With spring on the horizon, trees will soon be budding, flowers will start to bloom and with a bit of luck from Mother Nature, we’ll be enjoying more time outside with our pets!

If you’re as proud about your garden as you are your pet, you may be starting to plan your perennials and arrange your annuals.

You may also know that there are some plants to steer clear of if you have pets, such as daffodils, lilies and laburnum. So what plants will give you a colourful and pet-friendly garden?

PDSA Senior Vet Elaine Pendlebury says: “While pet owners do need to think carefully about what flowers and plants they have in their gardens, there are plenty of harmless varieties which mean owning a pet doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful and colourful garden.”

African Daisies look exotic, will brighten up your garden and are fairly resilient to knocks too. Crocuses are a good alternative to daffodils, but avoid colchiums and autumn crocuses, which can be poisonous.

Safe plants for dogs include ferns and African violets. For cats, choose sunflowers and snapdragons.

Elaine’s top plants to avoid are:

Daffodils - even drinking the water from a vase of daffodils can made a pet ill.

Laburnum – just chewing laburnum bark or twigs can affect a dog.

Allium species – these include leeks, spring onions and wild garlic.

Bluebells – all parts of the plant are poisonous to dogs.

Lilies – including the pollen, which can be harmful as a cat may lick this off their fur after brushing against the plant.

Oak – the buds have a high concentration of a poison called ‘tannic acid’ but not all dogs react to it.

Rhododendrons – all parts of the plants are toxic.

Always seek veterinary help if your pet show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, drowsiness or fitting.

More tips on www.pdsa.org.uk/safergardens.