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Toxic Garden Plants that Can Poison Dogs and Cats

Many plants are poisonous to pets, and it is crucial to be aware of them to keep your pet safe.

What Are Poisonous Plants For Our Pets?

Poisonous plants for pets. Our animal friends love to explore new places, sniffing everything they find around them. While this attitude seems funny and mostly harmless, we must be careful because multiple natural plants are toxic to animals and can cause various problems.

Usually, the damage caused by toxic pet plants is not permanent and, therefore, easily remedied. On the other hand, other species of plants are dangerous to dogs and cats that, if not treated in time, could even be lethal.

It follows that we must be cautious, learning to recognise which plants are toxic; green light, however, if we want to decorate our garden with orchids, palms, gerberas or herbs such as mint and parsley that pose no danger.

Poisonous plants for dogs

A dog’s diet is ordinarily rich in fibre, so it does not need to eat plants to satisfy this need. Nevertheless, their innate curiosity drives them to sniff and taste plants and shrubs, especially when they are puppies. In nature, there are more than 50 species of plants that are toxic to dogs, but the ones we encounter most often are:

Yew plant

Also known as the ‘death plant‘, its danger to our four-legged friends is easy to see. Conifer is often used as a hedge adorned with red berries whose seeds are highly poisonous, as are its branches, bark and needles.

This plant’s active ingredient, ‘taxine‘, is responsible for mild nausea, gastrointestinal complaints, and more severe complications such as breathing difficulties, convulsions and paralysis.

Holly Plant or Ilex

The berries of this Christmas plant are harmful to dogs, especially teething puppies, as they cause gastrointestinal problems.

Plant Rhododendron

The leaves of this evergreen plant are highly toxic with lethal consequences; if a dog ingests a large quantity, it may suffer convulsions or cardiac arrhythmias and, in extreme cases, even die.

Plant Hellebore

The most severe consequences following ingestion of this plant are hypersalivation, colic, diarrhoea, heart problems, and paralysis.

Plant Ivy

This common climbing plant causes gastro-enteric problems, breathing difficulties and depression when ingested in significant quantities by dogs. The most recognisable symptoms of ivy intoxication are nausea and trembling. However, the most common consequences of plant intoxication are nausea, lack of appetite and excessive salivation, which can cause severe intestinal or nervous system damage.

Taking preventive measures such as excluding certain plants from our garden is often not enough; think of how many plant species our dog may encounter during his daily walks outside our property. If our dog shows any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, visiting our veterinary surgeon as soon as possible is imperative. Please remember that poisoning can lead to the animal’s death if we do not act quickly.

Which plants are toxic for cats?

Unlike dogs, cats are more suspicious and are intuitive to avoid poisonous plants, but this does not apply to all cats. Cat kittens are naturally more naive, and their curiosity may lead them to toxic plants.

Controlling a cat is more complicated than a dog because of its more independent and conservative nature. However, we can protect it by taking a few precautions: learning to distinguish non-poisonous pet plants from dangerous ones and avoiding growing them in the garden or flat because cats love to nibble on plants.

Harmless plants include herbs. To avoid having to nibble plants in the house, we can resort to catnip: besides being very tasty for kittens, it is beneficial as a source of folic acid. Unfortunately, in nature, there are not only plants that are non-toxic for cats; as with dogs, there are many species that, if ingested, cause gastrointestinal damage and even lead to death.

Let us now discover the most common toxic plants for cats.

Plant Philodendron

It is an indoor pinata that is harmless to dogs but extremely dangerous to cats. The sap in the leaves and stems is toxic and irritating to the skin. In addition to the typical gastrointestinal complaints from poisoning, this plant is responsible for severe kidney damage, which could be fatal if not remedied promptly.

Plant Dieffenbachia or Dumb Canes

A widespread indoor evergreen. This plant has leaves and stems of various shades of green that contain white and green latex, which is toxic to dogs and cats.

Although it causes mild irritation in dogs, it is a different matter when ingested by cats: poisoning causes oral cavity inflammation, vomiting and hypersalivation with possible respiratory difficulties, which inevitably causes the animal’s death.

Cyclamen plant

The bulbs of this winter flower are the most toxic part of the plant, making it dangerous for cats and dogs. Being buried, it is difficult for animals to ingest the cyclamen bulbs. Nevertheless, the flowers are also poisonous: if eaten, they are responsible for cats’ convulsions, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Hydrangea plant

The colourful corollas formed by the flowers of this plant make it extremely common in lawn and garden decoration. However, this plant is poisonous to cats during flowering periods (spring and summer). In addition, ingesting hydrangea flowers can lead to nausea and asphyxia due to cyanogenic glycosides.

Final thought

Unfortunately, there are no do-it-yourself remedies for toxic plant intoxication for cats. As with dogs, as soon as the first symptoms are noticed, we must visit our veterinary surgeon immediately, who will prescribe the appropriate treatment to avoid even more harmful complications.

If you think your pet has ingested a poisonous plant, it is essential to call your veterinarian immediately. Poisoning symptoms can vary depending on the plant but may include vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, and even death.

In addition to the abovementioned plants, many other plants can poison pets. Therefore, it is always best to consult your veterinarian if you are unsure whether a plant is safe for your pet.

Here are some tips for keeping your pet safe from poisonous plants:

  • First, keep toxic plants out of reach of your pet. This may mean placing them in a high location or a room your pet cannot access.
  • Be aware of the plants in your yard and garden. If you are unsure whether a plant is safe, it is best to err on the side of caution and keep it away from your pet.
  • Teach your children about poisonous plants. Children may be curious about plants and may try to eat them. Therefore, teaching them about the dangers of toxic plants and keeping them away from them is essential.

By taking these precautions, you can help to keep your pet safe from poisonous plants.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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