One of the important elements of landscape design is mulch. Its functions include retaining moisture, keeping weeds away, and helping plants grow even in difficult soils. Also, mulches add visual appeal to your yard. However, there are certain things that you need to consider before settling on a type of mulch, and one is the safety of your pets, particularly dogs.
Mulches to avoid
There are mulches that were found to be dangerous to dogs. When certain types of mulches are consumed, dogs may get poisoned, suffer allergies, or even gastrointestinal obstruction.
Cocoa mulch. A very popular gardening product made from cocoa shells, cocoa mulch contains theobromine, a toxin that is dangerous to dogs.
Pine needle mulch. Considered harmful to dogs if swallowed, pine needle mulch can damage the stomach lining of your pet.
It is the nature of dogs to chew on things whenever they are alone or get bored. So, in choosing mulches, avoid those with larger chunks as they can cause gastrointestinal obstruction if swallowed.
Watch out for any possible allergic reactions, such as wheezing or having skin rashes, if you just added new mulch to your garden. If these occur, immediately remove the mulch and replace it with a different mulch.
Dog safe mulches
Don’t just choose a type of mulch just because it can adapt to the kind of plants you have in your garden and to the area’s humidity—always consider the safety of your dogs.
Rubber mulch. Typically made from recycled tires, rubber mulch is a very durable option that can last for years. Since it looks just like wood without the sweet smell like what other types of mulch have, your dog will less likely attempt to chew on it. Still, your dogs are at risk of gastrointestinal obstruction if they chew on rubber mulch out of restlessness.
Untreated wood mulch. Avoid wood mulches that are dyed and added with chemicals as they are not good for the environment and for your dogs.
Cedar mulch. A popular alternative among pet owners, cedar mulch is a pet-friendly mulch because it is shredded finely. In case your dog ingests the fibres, it can be easily digested. Plus, cedar mulch has bug repelling properties fit for gardens.
Cypress mulch. A very common type of mulch used in landscaping, cypress mulch is not toxic to dogs.
So, before you settle on buying bags of mulches from home renovation stores and landscaping shops online, consider their effect on your pets. Decide on one that is beneficial for your landscape design and safe for the environment and your pets.