It Pays To Know Your Critters

chewed echinacea leaves

This is a picture of the same Echinacea I showed in the post on slugs a week ago. But this time the leaves have been chewed off, some horizontally. Now what could have done that sort of damage?

Well, fortunately, in this case, I was there to watch the “critter” with my own eyes. So I have no one to blame but myself.

My little dog, Dixie Grace, likes to wander around the backyard in search of “salad” as an after dinner treat. Usually she chooses the wild asters. Since we have plenty of those, and I know they are not poisonous and that they haven’t upset her digestive system in the past, I’ll let her have a few nibbles and then we go in.

A week or so ago she mistook this plant for an aster. (What can I tell you–the dog is not a gardener!)

The moral of the story here is to please, always supervise your pets in the garden, know what plants they are consuming, and whether or not those plants are poisonous! In this case, again, this native plant is an herb so I knew she’d be fine.

But that’s not always true. Plenty of “people” things aren’t good for our pets. So again–please supervise. And if you have dogs, never use cocoa mulch either, which is very attractive to them and can be toxic!

4 thoughts on “It Pays To Know Your Critters

  1. roberta4949 July 26, 2013 / 10:15 am

    that really looks like plaintain, so this is your purple coneflower then? sounds like your dog was self medicating, my horses used to do that too, once I seen my horse lady eat a ladys thumb weeds, another she ate some burdoc leaves. even seen her take a few wild cheery leaves which made me nervous, but she never suffered any ill effects, most animals when they are well fed will not over eat weeds. they have to be very sick or hungry to do so

    • gardendaze July 26, 2013 / 10:26 am

      We have so much plantain–and several different varieties too–that it wouldn’t surprise me to have plantain in this garden. Perhaps this is just too chewed up to identify properly. But it is a self-sown Echinacea seedling–no flowers yet, and of course if the dog keeps chewing, there surly won’t be!

      You surely could be correct in your theory about self medicating. They say that’s why dogs chew grass too although this one has a taste for the more exotic. Thanks for your thoughts, and for reading!


  2. bridget July 26, 2013 / 10:22 am

    I really think that cocoa mulch should come with a warning. So toxic to dogs. Heard a few cases of dogs dying this year because of it.

    • gardendaze July 26, 2013 / 10:28 am

      Bridget–Yes, it would be nice if there were a warning on the cocoa mulch. Probably the lawyers won’t let them do it (although I think there would be more liability by NOT doing it than by warning.) We live in a crazy world though.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


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