Top 10 Tips on a Dog Safe Garden

I have had many gardens in my time and I love spending hours in my garden pottering. After a long day dog walking I Love going back, putting my feet up and relaxing in my garden, safe in the knowledge our dog George will be safe there. My dog George also love spending time in the garden helping me out observing what I do, with the occasional sniff “just to make sure”. George loves to chill out there, but also ensuring that no cat, squirrel or bird ever enters HIS garden.

Its important that garden are safe for dogs, specifically puppies who check out the world by tastings, chewing and eating things.

Lovely Bert - Dog Daycare St Leonards Fairlight Hastings

Secure the garden

It may sound obvious, but enclose the garden with a wall or fence to keep your four legged friend in. Have a catch on the garden gate to ensure it stays closed and can’t be pushed open.

Dogs love to patrol their boarders. If possible leave a gap for them patrol around the sides. It will save them destroying any lovely plants you put in.

Avoid Cocoa bean mulches

This is a by-product of the cocoa industry and many people us it to mulch gardens. It looks good and had a pleasant smell. However, it can be very harmful to dogs if eaten. It contains theobromine and caffeine, which are very toxic to dogs and it can even be fatal. When you get a mulch, check its pet friendly and has not been chemically treated.


Many plants can have nasty thorns on them to protect themselves. Rose bushes, pyracanth, holly, hawthorne have really nasty thorns. Some palm trees have incredibly hard long dangerous spikes. Dogs love bombing around gardens and brushing past things. For piece if mind I don’t have any in the areas they have access too.
There are many beautiful alternatives.

Poisonous plants

Unfortunately, many of the plants we have in our gardens are toxic to dogs.

Many spring plants from bulbs are poisonous, daffodils, crocus, cyclamen, lilies, lily of the valley, tulips, hyacinths, bluebells, bleeding hearts. Foxglove flowers, ivy, onions, and many berries are very toxic.

If you do a quick search in the web you will find many list. You may find this useful from the Dogs Trust. Poisonous Plants Fact Sheet.

If you think your dog has ingested a poisons plant call your vet immediately and take advice. The receptionist will be able to advise you what to do and if a vet needs to see your dog.

Man-made Poisons

There are so many poisons in gardens. Many snail killers, fertilisers and  bug sprays.
Many of these use highly toxic substances to dogs. Look for wildlife dog friendly alternatives. The “Slug Pub” works a treat drowning slugs in beer. But do put these in places that your dog can not access.

Snails and Slugs can pass on Lungworm to your dog. Speak to your vet as there are some products that protect your dogs from this.

Keep dogs away from BBQ’s

Again, its fairly obvious. Dogs go wild for the meat we cook on BBQ’s
Not only can they grab cooked bones can scoff them down , they can also knock into or jump up at BBQ’s sending hot coals flying everywhere.

Secure your compost bin.

Many things we throw away are poisonous to dogs. If the bin in not secure a hungry dog can break into a compost bin and munch its way through very bad things, for example Onions, grapes, avocado, apple pips and raisins.

Fairlight Doggy Daycare - Dog safe Gardens

Electrical Items

If you have power to your garden make sure it has been installed by a qualified electrician and that it is chew proof.
If you are using any mowers, strimmer’s or power tools but your dog away. Mowers and strimmer’s can easily flick a stone at high speed into your dog from some distance.


Dogs need to stay cool in the summer. Have a area that offer shade all day around. A lovely paving slab in the shade will be perfect for them on the hottest of days.


If you have a pond, ensure that it has sloping sides, so if your dog dogs go in fit can’t fall into water that is out of its depth.  The dog (and wildlife) need a slope so they can easily get out. If you have a rubber liner, you may want to put an extra layer down to protect it from being pierced by any claw.

Dog Safe Gardens - Hastings Dog Walkers - Hastings Pet Care - Daycare - Fairlight and Winchelsea


Puppies are especially vulnerable in gardens and of being poisoned as they discover the world, by tasting and chewing things. While your dog is a puppy do not leave them unattended in the garden. Maybe invest in a large puppy pen so they can observe you, discover the world but in a safe environment it you want to grab 40 winks or need to take your eyes off them for a short time.


I have areas that my dogs do not have access too. My front garden is dog free and the veg patch in my back garden is fenced off. This way I can own a dog and also have that plants and shrubs that I want.

I never leave my dog alone in the back garden for any significant amounts of time. It doesn’t matter how dog friendly my garden is, a bored dog and a large amount of time can lead to trouble. Plus I don’t want my dog baking his head off annoying the neighbourhood. Book us here.

Again, if you think your dog has ingested a poisons plant call your vet immediately and take advice. The receptionist will be able to advise you what to do and if a vet needs to see your dog. 


St Leonards and Hastings Dog Daycare and Walking Services Dog Walker