Dear Daisy Dog
Last summer, when my dog Jake was a puppy, he ate my patio plants. This year, I’d like to choose plants that are safe, in case he still has the munchies. What plants do you recommend?
When my brother Sam joined our family, he dug up and ate many of the perennials and annuals Mom had planted in the backyard.
So she replanted them where Sam couldn’t get to them: in hanging baskets and in the front yard. Now the pots on our deck contain only pet-safe flowers and ivy.
To determine the safety of your favorite plants, visit the Animal Poison Control Center’s Web site at www.aspca.org/apcc. Click on “Toxic and Non-toxic Plants."
You’ll find that you can plant a pet-safe Boston fern in place of a toxic asparagus fern. Lemon grass can substitute for harmful dracena spikes.
Instead of poisonous English ivy, plant grape ivy or Swedish ivy.
Other pet-safe patio plants are African violets, begonias, bachelor buttons, camellias, cockscombs, hens and chicks, ice plants, marigolds, ranunculas, snapdragons, spider plants, sweet Williams and zinnias.
A friend also plants cat thyme, catnip and cat grass for her felines.
If you mulch your plants, don’t use cocoa bean mulch, because it can poison us dogs the same way chocolate does.
Most importantly, until you’re certain you can trust Jake around your plants, supervise him when he’s outside. Unfortunately, Sam never grew out of his plant-eating habits.