It’s finally getting warm enough to venture outside, and your pets probably have spring fever as badly as you do. Most people think of pesticides or other common household substances as being poisonous to pets but don’t consider that common indoor and outdoor plants and fruit leaves can be equally toxic. Cats and dogs—puppies especially—sometimes treat the garden like a salad buffet, nibbling bits off plants and flowers as they go. Not only can some of these plants be harmful, but a few are so toxic that ingestion can be fatal. Worst of all, the symptoms associated with some reactions often aren’t understood by pet owners.
Symptoms of plant poisoning can include drooling, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, unconsicousness, irritation of skin and/or mouth, and vomiting. Bear in mind that each pet is different and some plants can cause symptoms of poisoning that might go unnoticed or that you might not be able to interpret.
If you suspect that your pet has ingested any toxic substance, contact your veterinarian, emergency animal clinic, or poison control center immediately. Keep these important numbers by the phone or on the refrigerator so that you can find them easily during an emergency.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control: 1.888.426.4435
Pet Poison Helpline: 1.800.213.6680
Be sure to check out PVMA’s Poisonous Plants fact sheet. The list it contains is not a comprehensive list of poisonous plants, but it can help you keep your pets safer around plants that can harm them.