Digging in the Dirt: Health Tips for Garden-Loving Pets from Petplan Pet Insurance

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America’s No. 1 pet insurance provider cautions green-thumbed pet parents about possible “perils in the patch.”

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Petplan data reveals numerous claims to pet parents whose dogs and cats have helped themselves to the fruits (and nuts and vegetables) of their labor.

While warmer weather and longer days seem to drive the whole family out-of-doors – including furry friends eager to “help” with the springtime gardening – No. 1-rated Petplan pet insurance reminds pet parents that for some curious canines, a trip to the garden might turn into a visit to the veterinarian.

Petplan data reveals numerous claims to pet parents whose dogs and cats have helped themselves to the fruits (and nuts and vegetables) of their labor. Tales range from a dog who accidentally broke a plant pot with her head (and wound up with vet bills totaling $250), to a precocious Pug whose mushroom snack ended up costing his pet parents $2,900.

To keep your garden green while avoiding any unexpected detours to the vet, Petplan suggests keeping these tips as close as your trowel:

  • Veggie tales: To avoid incidents similar to what the mushroom-munching Pug above experienced, consider carefully what you plant in your vegetable garden. Several vegetables can be dangerous if ingested by pets, such as onions and chives, which can cause red blood cell destruction; rhubarb leaves, which contain kidney-damaging oxalic acid; and members of the nightshade family like eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes, which contain deadly alkaloids.
  • Chew on this: If your pets love to chew on sticks, be careful. Avoid trees with toxic bark, such as cherry, which contains cyanide-like components. Be careful around trees that yield stone fruits, like apricots or plums, because gobbled pits could cause an obstruction. Some nut shells, including walnut and almond, contain tannins that are toxic to dogs.
  • Bedding down: When building your flower beds, avoid cocoa bean mulches. Their chocolaty smell is very enticing to pups, but just like chocolate, cocoa bean mulches contain theobromine, which is toxic for dogs. Pay attention to what you plant there, too. Flowers such as Foxglove, Belladonna and Larkspur may make our hearts happy, but they can have toxic effects on Fido’s heart and circulation.
  • Go green: Gardening organically is good for the planet, and your pets. The herbicides and pesticides used in some popular gardening products can potentially make your dog sick. If you do choose to use these products in your garden, try to prevent your dog from digging-in/eating/licking the treated areas.
  • Out and away: If it’s impossible to keep your pets’ paws from prying, consider installing some type of fencing to keep prying pets paws out of harm’s way – and away from your hard work.

For more tips to keep your pets safe this spring, visit http://www.GoPetplan.com.

Top-rated pet insurance provider, Petplan, is the only pet insurance company to have been included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America. Petplan’s fully customizable dog insurance and cat insurance policies provide coverage for all hereditary and congenital conditions for the life of the pet as standard, and meet the coverage requirements and budget for pets of all/any age. Petplan policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group, rated A+ by A.M. Best (2010). For information, about Petplan pet insurance, visit http://www.GoPetplan.com, read the Petplan Pet Insurance Blog, or call 1-866-467-3875.

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Sara McMillan

Bill Tierney
Brian Communications
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