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Poisonous Plants and your Pets

It is a known fact that cats and dogs are very active and inquisitive pets with a penchant for sniffing and chewing almost anything that they find. You may be a very doting parent who has full control over what happens inside your house, but what happens when your pets go outdoors? One of the dangers to watch out for out-of-doors is poisonous plants, especially when you have pets that love to explore. There are many shrubs and plants in our environment, but which ones pose the real dangers?

If you observe carefully, you might notice that dogs and cats tend to naturally avoid some poisonous plants even if they grow in your yard. It would seem that Mother Nature has put certain measures in place to ensure that they do not consume these poisonous plants no matter how close or prevalent they are. This should offer some consolation but, becoming complacent would be a big mistake on your part.  So, what to look for? It is important that you pay attention to certain types of plants growing in your vicinity. Usually, the toxic plants that should be avoided have one or more of the following features:

  • White or yellow berries
  • Glossy leaves
  • Milky sap
  • Dome-shaped plants
  • Climbing tendrils (Ivy)

The above does not cover all toxic plants, but it does give you something to work with at first sight. For a more visual guide if you’re not sure of the exact plant that your fur baby just ate, check out this info-graphic from Care2’s website.

While it is not advisable that your pets be allowed to go outdoors without being supervised, there are situations where it becomes unavoidable. In order to prevent unwanted emergency visits to the vet clinic, be aware of these plants:

  • Chrysanthemum
  • Hibiscus
  • Sweet peas
  • Oleander – foliage and stems
  • Mistletoe
  • Philodendron
  • Lilies
  • Buttercups
  • Primrose
  • Lupine
  • Lobelia
  • Rhubarb – leaves
  • Amaryllis
  • Hyacinth
  • Foxglove
  • Lantana
  • Castor bean – seeds
  • Yew
  • Azalea, rhododendron
  • Mountain laurel
  • Aconite
  • Elephant ear
  • Delphinium
  • Wild black cherry
  • Oleander
  • Rose bay
  • Cocoa bean mulch

These plants vary in their degree of toxicity and the effects could range from slight stomach and intestinal irritations to more severe conditions. It has been observed that there are more cases of pet poisoning between summer and spring, (which makes perfect sense) therefore, you should be more careful during this time.

The list above is by no means exhaustive and some other plants that you must ensure your pets do not consume include grapes, tobacco products, onions, and garlic which have been known to cause fatal health emergencies in pets if consumed in large amounts.

So, what are the symptoms of plant poisoning?

Some of the symptoms of plant poisoning to look out for include:

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Irritation of the mouth and/or skin
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

If you have reason to suspect that your pet may have consumed any of these poisonous plants or they exhibit any of these symptoms, you should contact your vet clinic immediately for help.

You can rest assured that Tailored Pet Services walkers and sitters will contact you as soon as your pet shows any sign of illness or ingests something that could be poisonous, and take him/her to the vet if needed. Review our rates page to see if our walking packages are a good fit for you.

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