Spring Garden Safety for Pets

Protect Pets From Budding Danger

Beautiful gardens are in popular demand, especially with the focus on enjoyment versus looks. Before you plant any seeds, however, it's important to remember that some of the plants that make our gardens and yards beautiful can make our animal companions sick or worse.

Toxic Plants

Eating poisonous plants is one of the most common ways that many pets, especially dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles and tortoises, ingest toxic substances. And since there are few effective treatments for toxic plant ingestion, a small mistake in the garden can be catastrophic to your pet and your family.

Plants That Are Reported To Be Toxic to Dogs, Cats or Rabbits

  • Azalea flowers
  • Bittersweet
  • Caladium
  • Clematis
  • Crocus
  • Day Lily
  • Death Camas 
  • Easter Lily 
  • Ferns
  • Foxglove
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Morning Glory
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendron
  • Tiger Lily
  • Tulip

Fertilizers and Pesticides

Dog sitting outside

Finally, no garden would be complete without fertilizers and weed killers. Though these products can make your plants healthier, they can injure (even kill) your pets.

Choose pet-safe options for substances like snail bait and weed and feed products, or go organic and try planting flowers like Mexican marigold, which naturally repel insects without harming animals. When all else fails, check the label and ask a gardening professional. If there's a doubt about the product's safety for your pet, don't use it!

Artificial Plants

Before you decide to forego flowers and plants and instead use artificial flowers, consider that some pets might find silk flowers just as tasty. A curious puppy or kitten with a sweet tooth for silk flowers can lead to intestinal blockage. Most will at least act as an emetic, which means your pet will vomit soon after eating. Other plants can lead to kidney or liver failure, seizures, or even death.

In order to protect your pet from possible poisoning, it's important to make sure you keep known poisonous plants and toxic items out of reach, watch for plants and toxic items that have been chewed on, keep an eye on your pet for symptoms of poisoning, and take your pet — along with a sample of the plant/toxic item — with you to your veterinarian immediately if you suspect a poisonous item has been consumed.


Know someone with pets?

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