Keeping Your Pets Safe from Poisonous Plants

Cat Reaching Flowers — Pet Care in Fresno, CA
Spring and summer are the seasons for beautiful blooms. However, before you add vegetation to your landscape or bring a bouquet indoors, make sure you aren’t exposing your pets to plants that could harm them.

Know Which Plants Pose Danger

While many plants are perfectly safe for pets, some can be very hazardous. Here are a few of the plants that are most toxic to our furry friends.
  • Lilies – The petals, leaves, stems and pollen are all extremely poisonous – often lethal – to cats. Signs of lily poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and seizures. Even the water from a vase of lilies can cause severe kidney failure in felines.
  • Bulbs – The onion-skin layer of flower bulbs such as narcissus, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths can be especially dangerous to dogs. Consuming them can cause your pooch a variety of symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to severe cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Crocus – Both the spring crocus and the autumn crocus (which is technically part of the lily family) are highly toxic to cats. Nibbling on these plants can disrupt your kitty’s gastrointestinal system, causing drooling, vomiting, diarrhea. Severe cases can lead to liver and kidney damage, seizures or respiratory failure.
  • Sago palm – This popular indoor and outdoor plant can be extremely dangerous to pets, particularly dogs. Without veterinary treatment, sago palm poisoning can be deadly in canines. Consuming even a small amount of the leaves, nuts or seeds may cause severe organ damage.
  • Oleander – Known for its delicate warm-weather blossoms, this evergreen shrub contains deadly toxins that interfere with heart function. Ingesting any part of the plant – even the water in a vase of oleander flowers – can be fatal to many species, including cats, dogs, horses and humans.

Have an Emergency Plan

Even the most careful pet owners can’t prevent every crisis. If your dog’s digging impulse or your cat’s natural curiosity has exposed them to these or any other plant toxins, be prepared to respond quickly.
  • Preprogram numbers for your regular vet, an emergency vet and a poison control helpline into your phone so you’ll have them if you need them.
  • Keep hydrogen peroxide in your home. Using it to induce vomiting can be helpful in many poisoning cases. However, never induce vomiting without consulting poison control or a vet first, because in some circumstances, it could make symptoms worse.
  • When taking your pet to the vet for help, bring the plant with you if possible. Knowing exactly what the animal consumed will help the vet know how to treat them.
With a little caution and common sense on your part, your pets and your plants can lead a healthy, happy coexistence. For more information about poisonous plants and pet safety, contact Fresno Pet Emergency & Referral Center Inc.