As we inch closer to the official start of summer (June 21), gardens and yards throughout Twin Falls are coming to life with colorful, blooming flowers and plants. There are however some plants that thrive in the dry climate of southern Idaho that we need to be mindful of and keep our pets away from for their own safety.

Gardening is something I'm beginning to really enjoy. As soon as May hit, our yard started to show some promising signs. Now that we are just days away from summer, just about every species of plant, flower, and tree on our property is requiring a lot of water. There are also some pesky plants we are ripping out for fear our dog could consume them and get very ill.

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One such plant you want to make sure you rid your garden and yard of is dogbane. Dogbane is a highly poisonous, low-growing plant that is green with pinkish blooms. It contains toxins that can cause heart failure, particularly in dogs.

Other plants that are highly toxic in this region of the state to both humans and pets that could be growing among your fruits, vegetables, and flowers include death camas, climbing nightshade, and the incredibly dangerous if consumed water hemlock.

Make sure to keep an eye on your pets this summer as they wander the garden. Installing chicken wire or mesh barriers around your plants is a great way to keep dogs from potentially getting sick, and be sure to remove any plants you believe could be toxic.

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Possibly Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac on the trail in Box Canyon. Can you identify the leaves?

Thousand Springs State Park

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