Safe Gardens for Huskies and other Dogs
The Siberian husky and other sled dogs are naturally curious animals. Left to their own devices, huskies will often investigate plants and fixtures in the garden, digging them up, chewing them, and getting into all sorts of mischief!
Unfortunately, all too often dogs come across plants and substances that are potentially harmful to them.
This can often lead to suffering on the animal's part, heartbreak for owners, and expensive vet bills.
As a dog owner, you should make sure that any areas of your garden to which your pet has access are free from poisonous plants, chemicals and other substances.
For an in-depth look at dog-safe gardening try the website Dogs In The Garden.
While there are some plants that dog owners should avoid, there are many dog-friendly plants that you can safely grow in your garden (although keeping them intact when there are huskies about is always a challenge!)
Below is a list of plants that should not pose a threat to your dog and in addition a list of some of plants and substances to be avoided
(for a full and detailed list, see the 'plants' pages of the Dogs In The Garden website.
Dog Friendly Plants
- A non-toxic annual that requires minimal sunlight. Safe for human consumption too - they are great for adding colour to summer salads
- Easily grown annual with pretty, colourful flowers. Requires a fair amount of sunshine.
- SPIDER FLOWER
- Another annual that requires little sunlight to flourish.
- Popular annual, grows low to the ground - great for growing in tubs and decorative plant pots.
- SNAP DRAGONS
- Pretty, exotic looking annuals.
- Non-toxic, but watch out for thorns!
- CORAL FLOWERS
- BUTTERLY FLOWER
Plants to Avoid
- The bulbs of Daffodils, Crocuses, Amaryllis, Gladiolas, Hyacinths, Irises, Narcissus, Lilies and Tulips are all toxic if ingested - dogs may dig up the bulbs when digging in the soil.
Also be wary of bulbs stored in greenhouses or sheds - huskies will get into all sorts of places before you know it!
- HORSE CHESTNUTS
- Chestnuts/conkers can cause fits and death if eaten and are potentially tempting to pets.
- GRAPE VINES
- Grapes contain a toxin that can cause kidney failure in dogs.
- PEACH TREES, NECTARINE TREES, PLUM TREES etc
- The stones in the fruit of these trees contain toxic substances, and if eaten, the stones can cause internal blockages.
- HAZELNUT TREES
- Fallen Hazelnuts play host to a toxic fungus which grows on their shell.
- ALMOND TREES
- Almonds are toxic to dogs if eaten.
- Repeated skin contact with ferns can cause allergic dermatitis, and if eaten, they can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- FOX GLOVES
- CASTOR BEAN
- MORNING GLORY
- LILLY OF THE VALLEY
- JAPANESE YEW
- ONIONS, CHIVES, LEEKS etc
- TOMATO PLANTS
- TRUMPET VINE
- JERUSALEM CHERRY
- PRECATORY BEANS
- More commonly kept indoors as a houseplant in the UK
- SAGO PALM
Hints and Tips
Hanging baskets are a good way to increase color in the garden, and can be hung safely out of the reach of your dog.
Pots and containers provide more protection than flower beds that can be trampled underfoot.
Be aware of overhanging trees from neighbors' gardens or street planting that may drop hazardous nuts or fruit into your garden.
You can buy products to encourage your dog to pee in one spot in your yard.
'Poop Scoops' are handy for picking up waste around the garden. Long-handled ones prevent you having to bend down to pick up after your dog.
'Dog Potties' are an environmentally sound method of disposing of dog poop. Basically, you just dig a hole in a corner of your garden and sink the container into the ground.
You then just put the dog poo straight into the 'potty', and once a week squirt in a little bit of the liquid that comes with it. The liquid breaks down the waste which drains away into the ground below.
These 'potties' usually come with a scoop for picking up waste.
Garden Safety and Security
Points to remember when 'Husky-Proofing' your garden include the following:
- Huskies Love to Dig!
- Digging is a favorite pass-time of the Husky - their chosen spots are usually in the middle of the lawn or under your prize rose-bush.
- Huskies can dig a surprisingly big hole in a few minutes, and they will 'landscape' your garden whilst your back is turned.
- More importantly, they often dig under fences, and will dig their way out of a garden in ten minutes given the opportunity.
- You MUST either sink your fence at least 2 feet below the surface of the soil, or lay concrete slabs or other barriers on the ground around the inside of your fence.
- Huskies Need High Fences!
- Huskies can easily clear a 4 or 5 foot fence from a sitting start.
- Your garden should be entirely surrounded by a fence at least 6 feet tall, and you should be prepared that it might well need to be raised higher than this (ours is 8 foot).
- Some huskies can climb up 'weld-mesh' and other fences, and you may need an overhang to contain your Husky if s/he is particularly agile.
- Remember that if you have garden sheds or greenhouses, a husky can jump on to these to find an escape route.
- They may also drag garden furniture over to a fence and use it to climb over - Sounds extreme? We've seen it happen (and it's usually the most 'well-behaved' 'docile' pets that do it!)
- Huskies are Incredible Escape Artists!
- Many adult huskies can squeeze through a 6inch gap in a fence.
- If a Husky can get it's head through, the rest of it will probably fit too!
- They will move objects around your house and garden, climb up them and use them as a means of escape!
- They will jump through open widows while your back is turned for 2 seconds - ANY windows in your house left open are a way out.
- They may well learn to open doors, gates, slide bolts open etc. Some will figure out how to open dog crates from the inside!
ALSO - do remember that huskies are attractive, desirable and VALUABLE dogs! There have been many instances of Huskies being stolen from gardens, or even from inside locked dog-runs and kennels.
We would not recommend you leave your husky in the garden unattended. You must take the possibility of someone stealing your dog into account if you have an outside dog-run.
Pedigree dogs are often 'stolen to order' these days, and we have known instances where thieves have cut through weld-mesh fencing in order to steal dogs from their kennels.
PLEASE, BE AWARE AND KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE!