How to create a pet safe garden with #SafeSeeds

We’ve got 2 cats that Our Little Bear adores, as they do her.  We’ve also got a nice big garden which they roam freely every day.  So when I saw the list of plants and flowers that are poisonous to cats and dogs, I was surprised and alarmed in equal measure that our cats could potentially be in daily contact with several on the list.
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Of course, we had a good clear out, pronto and the cats (and Our Little Bear) are free to explore to their heart’s content again.
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Research showed that a whopping 43% of pets needed urgent care after eating these plants and thanks to MORETH>N, not only have we diverted a very unnecessary emergency trip to the vets, and unnecessary additional stress for our pets (and us), we’ve also avoided the unnecessary accompanying bill to get our cats back to a full ‘bill’ of health…
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But how many other gardens look similar to this ‘MoreThan poisonous Pawtanical Garden’, as designed by Ian Drummond, 2015 RHS Chelsea gold medal-winning garden designer?
is your garden pet safe poisonous toxic plants for cats and dogs MORETHAN Charlie Dimmock RHS 2

MORETH>N poisonous Pawtanical garden designed by Ian Drummond

Now that ours no longer contains any toxic plants, we need to look carefully before we pop any more plants into our garden.
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Thankfully, MoreThan have launched their PetSafe campaign, fronted by Charlie Dimmock, for better plant labelling to show us just what IS safe for our pets in our gardens. Do pop over for more information on the petition and to pledge your support.  And of course you can tweet @MORETHAN using the hashtag #safeseeds.
how to create a pet safe garden with safeseeds is your garden pet safe poisonous toxic plants for cats and dogs MORETHAN Charlie Dimmock RHS 1

Charlie Dimmock is fronting the PetSafe campaign for MoreThan

Pet owners can also win free pet friendly flower seeds via MORE TH>N on Facebook and Twitter.
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Disclaimer: Written in collaboration with MORETH>N.

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So tell me, which of these plants are in your garden? (Share in the comments right at the bottom of this blogpost, below the link badges!)

PLANT NAME

POISONOUS FOR CATS

POISONOUS FOR DOGS

ALOE VERA
AMARYLLIS (BULBS)
ANGELS TRUMPET (BRUGMANSIA)
APPLE (SEEDS)
APRICOTS (KERNELS)
ASPARAGUS FERN
AVOCADO (FRUIT, PITH, LEAVES)
AZALEA (ALL PARTS) Rare
BABY’S BREATH
BEGONIA
BIRD OF PARADISE (PODS)
BISHOP’S WEED
BLEEDING HEART (DICENTRA FORMOSA)
BLUEBELL
BUXUS / BOX (ALL PARTS, MOSTLY LEAVES)
CARNATION
CLEMATIS (ALL PARTS)
CORDYLINE (GRASS PALM)
CROCUS (ALL)
CHRYSANTHEMUM (ALL PARTS)
CYCLAMEN (FOLIAGE, FLOWERS, STEMS)
DAFFODIL (ALL PARTS)
DAISY
DAHLIA
DAPHNE (BERRIES, BARK, LEAVES)
DEADLY NIGHTSHADE
DELPHINIUM (ALL PARTS ESPECIALLY THE SPROUTS)
ELEPHANTS EARS (LEAVES, STEMS, ROOTS)
ELDERBERRY (LEAVES, BARK, ROOTS AND BUDS)
EUCALYPTUS (ALL PARTS)
FOXGLOVE / DIGITALIS (LEAVES, STEMS, FLOWERS, SEEDS)
GARLIC
GARDENIA
GERANIUM (ALL PARTS)
GLADIOLA (BULBS)
GRAPE PLANT/VINE N/a
HELLEBORE
HIBISCUS
HOLLY (LEAVES, BERRIES & STEMS) Rare
HOSTA Rare
HYACINTH (BULBS, LEAVES, FLOWERS)
HYDRANGEA (ALL PARTS)
IRIS (BULBS)
IVY (ALL SPECIES – LEAVES, BERRIES) Rare
JAPANESE YEW (NEEDLES, SEEDS, BARK) Rare
LABURNUM (LEAVES AND SEEDS)
LARKSPUR (ALL PARTS)
LILLIES (ALL PARTS) N/a
LIME
LILY OF THE VALLEY (ALL PARTS)
LEOPARD LILY N/a
LOBELIA
LUPIN (ALL PARTS) Rare Rare
MALLOW
MARIGOLD (NEW LEAVES, STEMS)
MISTLETOE
MONKSHOOD/ ACONITE (ROOTS, FOLIAGE, SEEDS)
MORNING GLORY (ALL PARTS)
NARCISSUS (ALL PARTS) (DAFFODIL)
OAK – ACORNS (ALL PARTS)
OLEANDER (ALL PARTS)
ONION (ALL PARTS)
PERIWINKLE (ALL PARTS)
PEONY (FOLIAGE, FLOWERS)
PHILODENDRON (LEAVES, STEMS, ROOTS)
PINKS
POINSETTIA
PRIMROSE (ALL PARTS)
PRIVET
PRUNUS ROTUNDIFOLIA LAUREL
POPPY (ALL PARTS)
POTATO (SPROUTS, VINES, UNRIPE TUBERS) N/a
PRIVET
RANUNCULUS  (BUTTERCUP)  ✔
RAGWORT (ALL PARTS ABOVE GROUND)  ✔  ✔
RHODODENDRON (LEAVES)
RHUBARB LEAVES
SNOWDROPS (ALL PARTS)
SWEET PEA (ALL PARTS)
SWEET WILLIAM
TOBACCO PLANT
TOMATO PLANT (FOLIAGE, VINES, GREEN FRUIT)
TULIP (BULBS)
VERBENA (FOLIAGE AND FLOWERS)
WEEPING FIG (INDIAN RUBBER)
WILD CHERRY TREE
WISTERIA (SEEDS AND PODS)
YARROW
YEW
YUCCA

…that’s one long list!

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Why pets are good for our children

We’d been thinking seriously about getting a pet (or even pets ) for a while but we knew that it couldn’t be a dog because our little bear was very jumpy around dogs.

Maybe a Talking Tom?  Hmmm been there, done that…!

Maybe a hamster? Not ideal because of the relatively short life-span and that fact they’re nocturnal…

A goldfish? Maybe, but again the life span’s short and although they’re very relaxing to watch, you can’t interact with them much.

  • A cat sounded ideal because:
  • They’re relatively independent
  • They curl up on your lap
  • They don’t need walking (bonus due to us both working and hubby’s shifts meaning it can be hard for me to get out in the evening once our bear’s in bed).

Yes, we decided we would get a kitten.  That way, the family pet could grow up with our little bear.

cats pets benefit family therapy calming responsibility love home loving 2

…or 2 kittens!  When hubby went to choose a cat, there were 2 that ‘chose’ him and had apparently also decided to ‘hang out’ together!

The timing for introducing pets to the household was ‘purrfect’ (sorry!) – it was our little bear’s 1st week in Reception at school.

Though she settled in really well and coped with the expected tiredness really well, she would come home from school and chat to the kittens about her day.

While I pottered about in the kitchen getting her snack and then tea, I could hear her telling the kittens about someone or other and what they had been doing, what they had been saying, what they had been learning!  Yes, our kittens know phonics, what our little bear had in her lunchbox and the ditties for forming all the letters of the alphabet!

It’s not just after school, it’s also before school.  Because in the morning when hubby or I open her bedroom door to wake her up, in run the cats, the black one especially, to say “good morning” in their own cat-like way.  They worked wonders for getting her up and out of bed 🙂  They still do.

Our cats have taught her about:

  • responsibility
  • caring
  • personal space
  • respect (not stroking them if the’re eating and not touching them after a visit to the vets ‘to stop them having babies’.)

One day we’ll have to deal with the grief, of course.  Until then, we will enjoy them.

As the nursery rhyme goes:

“They followed her to school one day

It was against the rules!

It made the children laugh and play to see the cats at school”

…and that is the therapy – they make our little bear laugh.  You can’t say fairer than that.

Have you got family pets?  Do you think they make a difference to your little one’s behaviour?

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