Veterinary Emergency Clinic

Backyard Blunders

Dangers Hidden in Your Yard

Now that the warm summer months are here, everyone wants to spend more time outside, including our pets. Spending a relaxing evening in your backyard is always an excellent way to spend time with loved ones. But, your night in can turn into a disaster if your pet eats something that is poisonous in your yard. What are the hidden dangers in your backyard? What do you do if your pet eats one of them? As always Veterinary Emergency Clinic wants your animals to stay as safe and secure as possible, so we compiled a list of everyday backyard items that can cause your pet to get sick.


Most backyards are not complete without a flower garden. But a lot of common flowers can be toxic to dogs and other pets if eaten. These include aloe vera, amaryllis, baby’s breath, begonia, daffodil, lilies, milkweed, periwinkle, and many more. By staying away from these kinds of flowers, and opting for more pet-friendly ones, you can ensure that your pet will stay healthy!


Many people have added a human-made lake to their backyard. Although these are a relaxing addition to any outdoor space, these ponds can be dangerous for our doggies. These ponds can cause smaller breeds of dogs to drown if they fall in. More commonly, lakes can create a myriad of illnesses. Algae and bacteria produce these illnesses. Drinking water with blue-green algae in it might quickly give your dog some health problems, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.


Certain types of mulch used in landscaping are lethal when ingested by dogs. The most common type is cocoa mulch. This type of landscaping mulch utilizes two ingredients found in chocolate to boost effectiveness. The problem is that dogs are allergic to these ingredients, and like chocolate, it is toxic to dogs. An alternative to cocoa mulch is probably in your best interest as a dog owner, although there is “dog safe” cocoa mulch available.


Where there is a garden, there are most likely weeds. And for most people, these pesky plants are annoying enough. For pet owners, however, these plants can cause harm to your four-legged friends. Chief among these are foxglove, devil’s weed, poison oak, and poison hemlock.

Most weeds are poisonous if eaten by a dog, but others can break off of the plant and get lodged in your dog’s skin. The most common culprit is foxtail. It is one of the most dangerous weeds that your dog can get into. These barbed seeds can enter your dog’s mouth, nose, or ears. They can also become embedded in your dog’s feet, and skin. The worst part about foxtails is that they are designed to migrate. They have an arrow shape that enables them to travel through your dog’s body.

To prevent injuries from weeds, try to keep the plants to a minimum. Also, inspect your pets regularly for items in their skin or feet!

If you think your dog has ingested any of these materials or starts to show symptoms after playing outside, please give Veterinary Emergency Clinic a call. The quicker you take action, the easier it is for us to make sure your dog is going to recover fully! We are always here, 24/7, for all of your emergency pet needs. Please give us a call today. We are happy to help.



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