As spring draws near many of us are drawn to planting beautiful gardens and hours of outdoor play with our pets. This Month my posts will focus on backyard safety with your pet. While your yard is a great place for your dog to hang out, many pet owners are unaware of the number of species of plants that are potentially poisonous to our dogs. This is also the time of year many of us decorate our homes with beautiful bouquets of cut flowers. All species of lily are potentially fatal to cats. When sending a floral arrangement, specify that it contain no lilies if the recipient has a cat or dog—and when receiving an arrangement, sift through and remove all dangerous flora.
Dogs, especially puppies, love to chew on fun stuff they find in the yard! If your pet is suffering from symptoms such as stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea, he may have ingested an offending flower or plant. Here is a list of plants commonly found to be toxic to pets. Please note that the following is not a complete list. If you have a particular plant in mind for your home or yard, you should thoroughly research it first. Use the ASPCA’s online toxic and nontoxic plant libraries as visual guides of what and what not should be in your bouquets and gardens. If you suspect your pet has come into contact with a potential toxin, please contact your vet or poison control immediately.
US Poison Control Hotline (Human) 1-800-222-1222 Free
Pet Poison Control 888-232-8870 $35 fee
ASPCA Veterinary Poison Control (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.
Plants Poisonous to Dogs
One that really surprised me · Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans)
|COMMON NAME||SCIENTIFIC NAME||SYMPTOMS WHEN INGESTED|
|Aloe||Aloe vera||vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, tremors, change in urine color|
|Amaryllis||Amaryllis sp.||vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, tremors|
|Apple and Crabapple||Malus sylvestrus||seeds, stems and leaves can result in red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting and shock|
|Autumn Crocus/Meadow Saffron||Colchicum autumnale||oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, organ damage, bone marrow suppression|
|Azalea/Rhododendron||Rhododendron spp.||vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, weakness, coma, death|
|Calla Lily/Trumpet Lily/Arum Lily||Zantedeschia aethiopica||oral irritation and pain, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing|
|Castor Bean/Castor Oil Plant||Ricinus communis||oral irritation and burning, increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, convulsions; Note: beans are highly toxic|
|Chrysanthemum/Mum/Daisy||Chrysanthemum spp.||vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, loss of coordination, dermatitis|
|Cyclamen||Cyclamen spp.||excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmias, seizures, death|
|Daffodil/Narcissus||Narcissus spp.||vomiting, salvation, diarrhea, convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, heart arrhythmias|
|Dumbcane||Dieffenbachia||oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing|
|Elephant Ears||Caladium hortulanum and Colocasia esculenta||oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing|
|English Ivy||Hedera helix||vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, diarrhea|
|Foxglove||Digitalis purpurea||heart arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, death|
|Hosta||Hosta plataginea||vomiting, diarrhea, depression|
|Hyacinth||Hyacinthus orientalis||vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors|
|Hydrangea||Hydrangea arborescens||vomiting, diarrhea, depression|
|Iris||Iris species||excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy|
|Lily of the Valley||Convallaria majalis||vomiting, irregular heart beat, low blood pressure, disorientation, coma, seizures|
|Marijuana/Hashish||Cannabis sativa||depression, vomiting, loss of coordination, excessive salivation, dilated pupils, low blood pressure, low body temperature, seizure, coma|
|Mistletoe/American Mistletoe||Phoradendron flavescens||gastrointestinal complications, cardiovascular collapse, difficulty breathing, slow heart rate, behavior changes, vomiting, diarrhea|
|Oleander||Nerium oleander||vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, shallow/difficult breathing, muscle tremors, collapse, cardiac failure|
|Peace Lily||Spathiphyllum||oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing|
|Philodendron||Philodendron spp||oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing|
|Pothos/Devil’s Ivy||Epipremnum aureum||oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing|
|Sago Palm||Cycas revoluta, zamia species||vomiting, black (tarry) stools, jaundice, increased thirst, bruising, blood clotting problems, liver damage, death|
|Schefflera||Schefflera||oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing|
|Tobacco||Nicotiana glauca||hyperexcitability then depression, vomiting, loss of coordination, paralysis|
|Tulip||Tulipa species||vomiting, depression, diarrhea, excessive salivation|
|Yew/Japanese Yew||Taxus sp.||sudden death from acute cardiac failure (early signs include muscular tremors, difficulty breathing, seizures|
Alternatives to Chemical Pesticides
It is very easy to reach for a chemical pesticide, fertilizer or fungicide when faced with a problem in the lawn or garden. Fortunately for the average home gardener, safer alternatives are available for most commonly encountered problems, reducing the risk of a toxic exposure for your pet. If you notice damaging insects on your plants such as aphids, spider mites or thrips, these insects can be eliminated or reduced by a simple spray of water. These soft-bodied insects are easily dislodged. Adjust the nozzle of your hose so a firm spray will not harm your plants and wash them away. If you have only a few plants, use a good stream of water from your watering can and a little hand washing. It may take a day or two but an infestation can be cleared by no more than a good shower!
Soap and Water
If your insect problem is more serious, add a teaspoon of dish soap to a gallon of water and use it in a garden sprayer. The soap is an irritant to a lot of insects and can help break down the protective barriers of their external skeleton. There are commercial insecticidal soaps available that are less toxic than most chemical alternatives.
And Don’t Forget
Sometimes we forget the simplest things! Put your pets inside when mowing the lawn. A lawn mower can make a projectile out of a stick or rock that can injure your pet. Paint your garden tools a bright color such as red or yellow so you can see them out in the yard. Many pets step or trip on sharp garden implements. Store your chemicals out of reach and in their original containers. Don’t assume your pet will not be interested in consuming these products. If there is a toxic exposure or consumption, call your veterinarian immediately with the information from the product label. Keep your pets inside when applying any chemicals to the lawn or garden. With a little planning you and your pet can enjoy a safe and beautiful garden.
Have a great spring!
* Info Taken from About.com and ASPCA.org