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March 02, 2021
Plants are a lovely addition to any home, both inside and out, adding beauty, cleaning the air, or merely giving off a pleasant aroma. However, plants can be anything but cheery when they pose a threat to your precious pets. While there are quite a few flowers and plants that are perfectly safe for dogs and cats, many are toxic. Therefore, if you have pets, before you bring any plant home, or plant certain ones in your garden, ensure you know which ones are safe and which ones to avoid.
When it comes to plants’ toxicity levels, it all depends. Some plants only cause mild issues like skin irritations or an upset stomach, while others can send your pet into cardiac arrest, renal failure, and other severe conditions. Of course, in extreme cases, ingesting a toxic plant could lead to death. Your pet’s reaction also depends on their size, as a small amount could be deadly for a small pet, while larger breeds might not experience a problem. This is why it’s best to play it safe and keep poisonous plants out of the picture, no matter if the consequences are only mild.
Although this is a long list, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other potential poisonous plants for pets. Therefore, you should always first check the toxicity level of any plant you plan to bring into your home. Most toxic plants for cats are also poisonous for dogs (and vice versa), but there are a few exceptions. Therefore, it’s imperative not to assume a particular plant is safe for your pup just because it’s safe for your feline friend.
Many lilies are highly toxic for cats but not for dogs, although some types might cause some intestinal upset in your pup. Therefore, if you have dogs or cats, it’s best to avoid these plants. However, the following lilies only seem to cause issues in cats. These issues are vomiting, lethargy, kidney failure, appetite loss, and death.
Once again, most plants that are poisonous to your dog are also toxic for your cat. However, black walnut is toxic to dogs, causing seizures, coordination issues, and tremors, but it is non-toxic to cats.
While there are numerous poisonous plants for pets, that doesn’t mean you have to decorate with artificial greenery for the rest of your life. Luckily, quite a few plants are harmless to both dogs and cats.
Of course, these plants are safe to have in your home, and should your pet give a little nibble; they’ll be okay. However, this doesn’t mean your dog or cat can chow down on these plants and herbs. Safe things can be harmful if ingested in excess, so don’t start sprinkling any of these into your pet’s food bowl.
To play it extra safe, keep plants out of reach of your pets as much as possible. For your outdoor plants and flowers, try to provide more enticing areas in your yard for your pets, so they aren’t interested in the garden. If keeping your pet out of your garden is extra-challenging, you might need to look into putting a border or fencing around the garden to train your pets to stay out (at least until they get the idea).
Even with the ultimate precautions in place, sometimes things get overlooked. Plus, it could be that your pet gets a hold of something they shouldn’t, possibly on an outing to the park or a stroll through the neighborhood (another great reason to keep your pup on a leash when you’re out and about). If your dog or cat eats something toxic, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 and follow their guidance.
Unfortunately, your dog or cat can’t tell you if he ate something bad. Therefore, if you didn’t witness him eating it, it’s up to your powers of observation. Watch your pet very closely for any signs of distress or changes in behavior, and be ready to bring them to an animal emergency clinic or your vet office ASAP. If you aren’t sure if your pet ate something or not, err on the side of caution. In these situations, quick action is best, and of course, whenever you’re in doubt, call your vet immediately.
It’s also a good idea to keep a list of toxic plants handy for quick reference. A good place for this list is next to the poison hotline number. Another excellent resource for keeping your pets happy and healthy is the rest of our Neater Pets blog. We’re always adding information so you can be an informed pet parent.
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