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Pet-Friendly Plants and Flowers

1177_shutterstock_151660658In many ways, having a pet is like having a child. We place pads on the corners of tables and lock cabinets so the kids do not taste the Drano, but our pets need a different kind of protection. Plants and flowers bring nature and beauty into our homes but they can also be a source of mess, danger, and even death for our pets.

Use the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants to keep your pet safe. To build an indoor or outdoor garden, there are some very nice plants that work well for the pet lover:

For The Dog Lover

Dog owners are a special breed (pun totally intended.) We chose our dogs based on personality, need and size. Different breeds have different traits and the dog lover understands everything about the type. Some breeds are natural foragers. If your dog is a digger, then put down a bed of chunky mulch, suggests Garden Guides. Dogs don’t like to walk on surfaces that can irritate their paws, and a bed of chunky wood mulch, thorny plant clippings or pine cones can deter digging.

Some dogs love to eat grass and plants. We are not certain why they do it but one obvious possibility is that they taste good. If this is true then the smart dog owner has two ways to go. One direction is to plant things that the dog will not like. Citrus fits the bill, especially grapefruit. The other way to go is to plant things that the dog can eat and enjoy. Things in the squash family are hearty, good for you puppy, and can be eaten without destroying the plant.

For The Cat Lover

Cats have a reputation for being mischievous. They dig up potted plants and push over vases of flowers. Coleus canina, commonly known as Scaredy Cat plant, is a potable leafy plant that cats find offensive. It makes a great buffer around other plants that your cat may find more desirable. To keep your cat from playing with the flowers you just ordered, mix your roses with lemon plants. Like dogs, cats will avoid flowers that smell of citrus.

A non-floral solution to plant tipping is to place the vase on a bed of aluminum foil. Some people say that the sound and feel of the foil keeps the cat away from the plant. Also remember that some plants are toxic. Some lilies and orchids are poisonous to cats so do not keep them in your home. Even if you mix them with citrus oils and cover them in aluminum, you should never trust them in your house.

For The Everyone Lover

Some of us love all animals. We have a dog and a cat (and a turtle, a snake and a hedgehog). For the general animal lover, know that plants will be eaten, rolled on, and played with. Landscaping is the best way to handle the ways of nature. Plant hearty, woody plants at the perimeter. Your dog will patrol the edges of the garden and chew the heavy plant stalks, leaving the more delicate plants behind the border alone. Use cat grass to lure your cat away from other plants. Cat grass is a type of orchard grass that cats find alluring. Growing it will distract your cat from eating other plants.

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