Gardens and pets

Pets and gardens W

During the warmer months, many of us love to spend time outdoors enjoying our gardens. It is important to keep in mind that gardens can be potentially dangerous places for cats and dogs and precautions need to be taken to avoid accidents.

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Plant food and fertiliser

In the spring we may lay down special fertiliser to help our plants grow and as we are outside in our gardens more there is more chance of our pets coming into contact with them. Make sure that the fertiliser you choose is pet-friendly as some of them are toxic to cats and dogs.

Slug pellets

Another common problem is slugs and snails. You may be tempted to put down some slug bait to stop them getting to your plants. Unfortunately most slug bait is poisonous to cats and dogs as it contains a substance called Metaldehyde. Slug bait normally looks like a small kibble and with a sweet taste to attract slugs, but this also makes it attractive to your pets and even the smallest amount can cause problems. Where possible try to use slug bait which is pet-friendly. If you’re not sure about a brand then ask at your local garden centre, as they should be able to recommend a specific product.


Some of our favourite plants and flowers such as daffodils and crocuses have parts which are toxic for pets if eaten. The list of plants is quite long and it is impossible to list them all so if you have pets and are looking to get a new plant for your garden it is best to ask at the garden centre as they may know if the plant is poisonous to pets or check online before you buy the plant.

It is not always the leaves or flowers that are poisonous, it may be the bulbs or other parts of the plant; and in some such as Azalea, every part of the plant is toxic. Lily pollen is poisonous to cats and cause blindness, paralysis or in worst case scenarios death, so do be careful when buying lilies for your home or garden.

If you think that your pet has come into contact with a plant which may be toxic or is showing any symptoms of having eaten something poisonous then see your vet immediately for treatment.

Pet insurance

Find out more about our pet insurance policies.

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