Nursery owner

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner.

Last week, I wrote about houseplants that are dangerous for dogs. This week, I want to share some of the harmful things our dogs could find in our landscapes.

Synthetic pesticides used to kill bad insects can contain metaldehyde or disulfoton; both are very toxic to dogs. Daffodil and lily bulbs are both highly toxic to dogs.

Mushrooms can be edible but not usually when they’re found growing in your yard. I would not advise you or your dog eating any of those. Mushrooms are considered to be highly toxic to dogs.

Cocoa mulch is sometimes used as a top dressing on flowerbeds; it contains theobromine. This chemical contains properties very similar to caffeine and can cause an elevated heart rate, seizures, vomiting or diarrhea in dogs.

Eating acorns in large amounts can cause damage to a dog’s liver and kidneys. The danger is believed to be from the toxic ingredient tannic acid that is found in acorns and can cause bad reactions in dogs.

If you have any peach or plum trees growing in your yard, be aware the pits, leaves and stems of these two fruits contain cyanide and are also toxic to dogs.

It’s fun having our dogs with us in our yards and when taking walks, but always be aware of potential dangers. Dogs love to check out new things, especially new smelly things that could be found and quickly ingested while on a walk.

If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, immediately call or take the dog to your vet.

Taking a few precautions will allow you and your dog to safely enjoy being in your yard and going on walks together.

Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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