Local vet warns of potential dangers for pets in backyards and gardens

Updated: May. 1, 2019 at 7:19 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Enjoying the outdoors is what summer in Louisiana is all about. But if you’re bringing your furry friends along with you outside, there are certain things you should be aware of.

According to Jae Chang, a veterinarian at Prien Lake Animal Hospital, there are a lot of things in your backyard that can be harmful or dangerous to your pets like acorns, oak tree leaves, and certain plants. He says if your pet gets into something it shouldn’t, there are signs to look for.

“The typical signs of a dog ingesting any type of poisons is usually they’ll have either vomiting or diarrhea, so if they’re showing those kind of symptoms, they need to reach out to their regular veterinarian to figure out if your pet did ingest any type of poisons or just figure out what else could be going on,” Chang said.

Jamie Mihalcik, from Greengate Garden Center, says there are many plants to be aware of when it comes to your pet.

“We don’t want to deter people from planting in their yard or having their pets out there with their landscaping, but we do want to encourage them to be responsible and choose the right plant to make it a safe environment,” Mihalcik said.

Even some mulch can be dangerous to your pet. Namely one mulch made from the cocoa bean.

“Because that is a byproduct of the cocoa plant, which is used in the industry for chocolate,” Chang said. “Most people know chocolate is toxic to dogs because of a chemical in there that dogs can’t metabolize.”

Mihalcik says if you intend to buy gardening products for your home, you can always ask places like Greengate for assistance.

“I think when you’re choosing plants and items that are going to go into your landscape where your pets will be also enjoying the landscape, you just want to be responsible and choose wisely,” Mihalcik said. “You can definitely give us a call or stop by, we’d be happy to help you answer your questions and get you on the right track.”

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