The hidden dangers lurking in your garden that could be harmful to your pets

Spring sprang oddly early this week, sending pets piling out into gardens.

And while it is great to see our ­animals enjoying the sunshine, Blue Cross is warning of the hidden dangers right in our back yards.

The charity’s handy guide on ­keeping gardens pet friendly says ­owners should shut shed doors and block greenhouse entrances with mesh.

That way, pets will not become trapped, mess about with dangerous substances or tools or get heatstroke.

Fences and gates should also be secure so dogs do not escape.

For rabbits, a secure run with a ­shelter on the lawn is best so they are safe from predators and do not nibble your prize plants.

Avoid using chemical weed killers and pesticides which can be harmful to your pets


Few gardeners welcome slugs and snails and they can also infect pets with lungworm. But slug pellets can be toxic– including some described as safe – so stick to barriers such as soot, sharp sand or beer traps.

Some plants are so dangerous they are best avoided, including lilies. Their leaves, flowers and pollen are ­poisonous to cats in tiny quantities.

Most crocuses are a good alternative for spring colour to daffodils, which are toxic. But watch out for autumn crocuses, which can be poisonous.

Bluebells can be trouble too, but severe poisoning is rare.

Rabbits should be placed in a secure run with a shelter on the lawn


Most ­evergreens and plants that grow from bulbs can poison rabbits.

Many herbs, including rosemary, lavender and sage, are safe choices. Or try African daisy and nasturtium.

For a scented garden, go for ­honeysuckle and lavender, which some animals enjoy. Try cats with catnip.

A sand pit where your dog can dig for treats, may keep them off your flower beds. You could even provide tunnels for your bunnies.

Shaded areas are a must. Move ­rabbit and guinea pig hutches and runs to areas out of midday rays.

Lawn feed and moss killer may ­irritate your pet’s paws and can cause tummy upsets.

And avoid chemical weed killers and pesticides. They can be bad news.

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