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Garden Toxins


     We all know dogs will eat almost anything they find. Surprisingly, many cats also like to experiment with objects around the house. Spring time brings many beautiful flowers into the house and hours of outdoor gardening. Make sure you are keeping your yard and bouquets pet-friendly.

     Yards can take weeks to months to be perfected…and 3 seconds for your dog to destroy it. There are not many ways to protect your grass from being torn up, but you can protect your dog from toxic plants they may decide to chew on. Some common toxic plants to avoid for dogs include: azalea, begonia, bird of paradise, carnation, foxglove, geranium, oleander, sago palm, and yew. Monitor for vomiting, diarrhea, or any other abnormal behaviors. Edible-sized rock landscaping should be used with caution, as some dogs do like to ingest them and are costly to remove.

     Though cats are generally more discerning about what they eat, they can be quite curious about new flowers in the house. Plants to keep away from your cat include: all varieties of lily’s, elephant ears, as well as those toxic to dogs. The neurologic and cardiac systems are generally affected, but irritated gastrointestinal tracts are also common. Safe grasses that can be planted in the home for cats to enjoy are: catnip, wheat grass, buck oats grass, barley grass, and rye grass.

     If you witness your pet ingesting a potentially toxic plant, call your vet immediately. They will be able to start you with advice or guide you to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for its 24-hour emergency poison hotline (1-888-426-4435). This service can provide you with early at-home care instructions prior to bringing your pet to the vet as well as instructions for your vet to follow for continued care. Some toxins are more dangerous than others and can require hospitalization. Timeliness is of utmost importance in these cases. Check out www.aspca.org for a full list of toxic plants.


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