Plant Safety for Pets

March 26, 2013 | Tower Hill Insurance

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When selecting both outdoor and indoor plants for your home, be sure to consider pet-friendly options.

For instance, the seed pods of Sago palms — commonly used in both landscaping and as houseplants — are harmful and potentially fatal if eaten by our canine friends.

And when ingested, some spring garden favorites such as tulips, daffodils, lilies, and even azaleas can be dangerous or even deadly for both dogs and cats. Although eating toxic plants may cause only an upset stomach for some, these same plants can cause severe seizures, cardiac failure, and even death especially for smaller dogs and cats.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested a potentially poisonous plant, contact your veterinarian or local emergency animal hospital immediately. For a detailed list of plants that are toxic for dogs, cats, and horses, visit ASPCA.org (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), which includes photos of these plants along with printable lists of both toxic and non-toxic plants. Of course, for your smart phone there’s also an app for that — Pet Poison Help.

Keep your four-legged family members safe from plants that can be harmful. Here are some plant varieties that are safe for dogs and cats alike: Boston fern, gardenia, spider plant, African violet, Areca/Golden Palm, and Gerbera Daisy. And remember . . . many plants that are dangerous for pets can also be poisonous for children. Be sure to do your homework when choosing plants for both your home and yard, and select those that are safest for your family and pets.