Keep your pet safe from poisons in the Garden
There are many species of flowers and plants around the garden that could cause your pet to become ill. Some may only cause a mild stomach upset, while others are dangerously poisonous. Dogs are naturally inquisitive creatures, and although they probably wouldn’t bother with a shrub that has been in your garden for years, if they find a bulb or an acorn, you can bet that they will have it as a plaything or eaten within a matter of seconds.
There are many plant varieties that pet owners should avoid growing, with fairly common types such as Dahlias, Marigolds and Geraniums topping the list. If eaten, they can bring on health problems such as stomach upset and drooling, to the more serious conditions with damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system. Instead, plant Busy Lizzies, Gerberas, Fuchsia and Sunflowers.
Some plant varieties you must try and avoid if you are a pet owner are:
Daisy – these usually grow in prime dog-walking locations, yet they need to be avoided. Symptoms, if eaten, include lack of coordination and vomiting.
Hydrangea – how can this beautiful plant be so dangerous to our pets? The petals and leaves of the plant harbour cyanogenic glycosides, otherwise known as cyanide. If chewed by our pets, symptoms can appear in as little as 20 minutes, with depression, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Daffodil – it’s not only the bulbs that we need to be wary of, if daffodil flowers are eaten, your dog may become ill. Symptoms include changes to heart rate, fits, collapse or appearing wobbly or sleepy.
Tomato – it’s the stems and leaves of the tomato plant that are lethal to dogs if consumed, yet the ripe, tomato fruit itself shouldn’t cause any problems. Look out for slow heart rate, difficulty breathing, weakness and stomach upset.
Onions, chives, leeks and garlic – Can all prove to be toxic if chewed and eaten. These vegetables can all cause gastrointestinal upset and anaemia.
Fungi – although not many of us will grow mushrooms in the garden, on our dog walks it’s quite common to come across fungi, and while some species are edible, others are very toxic. If poisonous varieties are eaten, symptoms may arise within a speedy ten minutes, vomit or blood in the stools, fits or hallucinations. If possible, take a sample of the affecting mushroom along to the Vet’s to help them to identify the species and treat your dog accordingly.
Other garden items that could potentially poison or cause illness to your pet are:
- Conkers and Acorns
- Stones from cherries, plums etc. if eaten in quantities
- Freshwater Algae, found in garden ponds
- Compost heap that your dog will love to dig around in, but could contain mouldy food products, onion peelings, avocado stones, raisins or grapes, all of which are potentially toxic to your pet
- Fertilisers are found in the majority of gardens, yet contain poisonous ingredients such as pesticides, herbicides, zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorous and nitrogen. If you treat your lawn with a fertiliser product, keep your pets away until dry and safe to walk on.
- Slug pellets are very appealing to dogs yet some makes are high in toxins. Containing the chemical metaldehyde, your dog can develop symptoms such as fits, twitching and tremors that can continue for several days.
It’s not always easy to supervise your dog while in the garden, but you can protect them and help to keep them healthy by knowing and understanding which are the most toxic trees and plants. If you think your pet has eaten any poisonous plants, vegetables or flowers, or indeed any other toxic items, contact your Vet immediately, and take along a sample of the plant, or plant label for easy identification.