Dogs in the Garden

While most animals are ok with eating things in the garden, dogs are not among these. Many goodies in the garden are bad for them. Here are some that you will want to watch your furry friends around.

Grapes & Raisins
While some dogs can consume grapes and raisins with no symptoms, it’s simply just not worth the risk. This is because consuming grapes or raisins can actually lead to irreversible kidney damage.

Onions & Garlic
The Pet Poison Helpline warns that garlic is actually considered to be more toxic than onions. Both vegetables can cause serious problems in dogs. Symptoms of onion or garlic toxicity include lethargy, elevated heart and respiratory rates, pale gums, and even collapse.

The pulp of the fruit is safe for dogs to eat, the plant and pit are moderately toxic to dogs, and can result in respiratory failure and death. The plants and pits contain cyanide.

While only a small amount of mushroom species are toxic to dogs, it’s important to make sure you aren’t feeding them the wrong ones. If you’re unable to identify a mushroom species quickly, it’s imperative that you take your dog to the veterinarian immediately after consumption. Mushroom toxicity is known to be fatal in dogs, resulting from seizures, tremors, and organ failure.

Currants carry the same level of severe toxicity that grapes and raisins do. Even if you don’t notice sudden vomiting and diarrhea after your dog consumes currants, take your dog to the veterinarian. Just like the other small fruit, currants can cause severe renal failure.

Raw & Green Potatoes
Unripe, green, and raw potatoes are toxic to dogs. Symptoms of potato toxicity in dogs include nausea, vomiting, seizures and heart irregularities.

The seeds, leaves and stems of apricot plants are toxic to dogs. They are able to consume the pulp of the fruit. These plants also contain cyanide, and can result in respiratory failure and death.

The leaves and stems of rhubarb depletes the calcium levels in dogs’ bodies. This can result in renal failure as well as other medical problems.

Apple Seeds
Apple seeds contain cyanide, and are very toxic to dogs. Caution should be taken on giving your dog too many apples. It is best to avoid the core.

Tomato Plants
The red tomato can be beneficial to dogs, the plant itself is quite toxic. The stems and leaves of the tomato plant, as well as the unripened fruit, can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs.


comp3Composting has to be one of the easiest things and is one of the best things you can do for your garden.  You don’t have to go out and buy any fancy barrel turning contraption,  or even do an enclosure. It can literally be a pile. A sunny spot and a water source is a must. Keeping your compost pile hot and watered is key for helping it break down.

We have two compost piles.  Our sectioned solution (seen here) and our pile.  The pile we add our larger items to, which will decompose over time and the smaller one gets all of our kitchen and garden scraps. This one we turn and sift.

Here are some tips that will get you started:

  • comp1Add grass clippings (which add necessary nitrogen to a compost pile) Be sure to mix with the “brown” materials that add carbon. Both are necessary for quick decomposition and rich compost.
  • Leaves are an excellent choice for brown material
  • Do not compost fats, pet droppings (dogs & cats), or animal products.
  • Newspaper or plain white paper from the computer is excellent for composting – just remember to shred it first to speed up the process.
  • Add coffee grounds, worms love them!
  • If adding ashes, do so sparingly. They are alkaline and affect the pH of the pile.


  • comp2Plants that have been treated with pesticides and/or herbicides (weeds and lawn clippings) should be avoided.
  • Algae and seaweed make excellent additions to your compost pile. Be sure to rinse off any salts before using.
  • Straw is an excellent source of carbon for your compost pile. However, it may contain weed seeds, so make sure the pile is “cooking” properly. used straw from stalls is a great addition.
  • Halloween pumpkins are an excellent addition, just make sure to break them up.