Spring Gardens to Keep your Pets Safe

Aaahhh, Spring!

It can bring a skip to your step – or a hand to your brow. It all depends on whether you look forward to the beautiful bursts of color running rampant each Spring – or your dreaded anticipation of lots of work in the garden, or perhaps those pesky allergies that rear their irritating heads as pollen hits.

If you have dogs or cats that run around in your yard, just be aware of some of the dangers to pets that could be lurking. I’ve quoted below some good information courtesy of the ASPCA just to make sure you are alert.

Steer Clear of Lilies and Oleander. Lilies may look pretty, but they are considered especially toxic to cats. Even ingestions of very small amounts can cause severe kidney damage in our furry friends. Oleander can cause serious health problems including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Be Careful with Tulips. These popular spring bulb plants add much to our gardens, but can cause significant stomach problems when ingested by our pets. The bulb portion contains toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and even cardiac abnormalities.

Say No to Azalea and Rhododendron. These favorites contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in our furry friends. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and even death.

Avoid Sago Palm. All parts of this common house plant are considered poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain a large amount of toxin. Even ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects including vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and liver failure.

Pass on the Cocoa Mulch. Popular for its attractive odor and color, cocoa mulch attracts dogs with its sweet smell—and like chocolate, it can cause problems for our canine friends. Depending on the amount, ingestion of cocoa mulch can cause a range of clinical signs from vomiting and diarrhea to muscle tremors, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity and even seizures. Consider using a less-toxic alternative such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark.

If your pet likes to stop and smell the flowers, it’s important to not leave him or her unsupervised where these plants may be present. Want more information or have greenery in your home or garden that you’re not sure is toxic or not? Please visit our full list of toxic and non-toxic plants.

As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.

Here’s to a healthy and fun season enjoying the outdoors – both for you and your best furry pet friends!

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