Yard Danger: Is Your Yard Making You and Your Pets Sick?

adult dog in yard
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Yards are a desirable feature for every home. Many home buyers with pets and kids would love an outdoor space they can utilize in more ways than one. You get to destress by tending to your garden. The kids and your pooch can safely play outdoors. But what most homeowners fail to realize is that many health hazards could be lurking in your very own yard. The last thing you want is to learn a little too late that your yard is actually making your family sick.

Many things can go wrong while your family is hanging out in the yard. They can end up getting hurt for your failure to declutter the area and for forgetting to store dangerous gardening tools and equipment away. But there are other ways your yard can put your family’s health at risk.

Garden Products and Supplies

The market is never short of garden products and supplies you can use to maintain your yard. But failure to choose the right one, improper use, and accidents can put your family at risk.

For one, many chemicals used on lawns can be toxic to both humans and our pets and can cause adverse effects. Some homeowners feel that the more pesticides they use, the better. But in reality, the more naturally you go when keeping bugs and pests away, the better.

Kids should never be left unattended when it comes to lawnmowers, gardening tools, pesticides, and other supplies. Things can go horribly wrong, and they can end up not just a minor cut or bruise. If you plan on letting the kids take over lawn mowing, invest in a lawnmower that automatically turns off once you let go of the handle.

How you or your kids mow the lawn also matters. Keep the following mowing safety precautions for the best results.

  • Mow the lawn while it is dry as wet grass can be slippery and cause injuries
  • Avoid mowing at noon as it can be too hot during this time and puts unnecessary stress on your grass
  • Don’t cut the grass too short to avoid heat damage, drought, and weed invasion
  • Inspect the yard and keep kids and pets away before mowing to avoid projectiles from hurting anyone

Poisonous Plants

If you have kids who tend to put everything they get a hold onto into their mouth, then make sure your garden is free from poisonous plants. There are numerous plants toxic to humans and pets. This includes castor oil plants, lilies, Dieffenbachia, daffodils, Philodendron, and certain types of mushrooms. You don’t want your kids touching or ingesting the plants anytime soon.

Before you allow kids and pets to play in the yard, make sure that no toxic plants are around. If you intend to keep them or accidentally included such plants after your last landscaping project, make sure to keep these out of your kids and pets’ reach. You can consider adding a garden fence panel around these plants as a barrier for kids and pets.


Kids love playing fetch with dogs. But then, children can get splinters from logs and sticks. This may seem like a small issue, but this can cause a serious problem for your pooch.

Splinters can hurt your dog’s mouth, get stuck in their throat, or even cut their gastrointestinal tract. As much as possible, ensure that your pooch plays with their pet-safe toys instead of a stray log. If you find your pooch often snacking on non-food items like a stick, dirt, and plants, consult their vet as this can already be a sign of a behavioral issue in dogs.

Animal Feces

You really should clean up after your dog, especially when they do this in your yard. Dog feces often contain roundworms. If your kids come in contact with dog feces while playing, and they touch their mouths with their dirty hands, these roundworms can travel to their intestines and cause a series of health issues. The same goes with cat feces.

Ingesting cat feces can lead to toxoplasmosis. This can cause enlarged lymph nodes, a nasty fever, and even pass this to kids in the womb. Kids born with toxoplasmosis can have hearing and vision problems, learning disabilities, and seizures.

So, make sure to keep an eye on the kids and to clean up after your pets immediately after the poop. You don’t want your kids touching or getting in contact with their feces and get sick.

pet in yard

Lead in Soil

Older homes were usually constructed with harmful chemicals, including lead. If there is an unhealthy amount of lead in your yard, and your family gets exposed to this, it can cause behavioral issues and development problems in kids. Extreme exposure to lead can also lead to hypertension, anemia, memory loss, and hearing loss.

Ensure your family doesn’t get exposed to lead by having the soil tested. If your residential soil has high amounts of lead, you don’t want your family to dig through the dirt. You can build raid garden beds instead and fill it with soil you can plant on and the kids and pets can safely play with.

These are but five health hazards you don’t want to have in your yard. With a bit of research and planning, you can stop your yard from making your family sick. Fix your yard before it is too late and you and your family can have a safer and healthier outdoor space to enjoy.

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