Plants and pets – a guide to spring gardening!
By Arbutus West, on Friday, March 9th, 2018
With a gorgeous weekend to look forward to, a lot of people will be seizing this opportunity to get back into their gardens. Bulbs are coming back to life all over the city, and green buds are forming on everything that survived the winter. It seems we’re all ready for Spring to get here!
- Geranium – Commonly grown in outdoor gardens, containers, and hanging baskets, the Pelargonium species is toxic for pets, causing skin rashes, low blood pressure, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
- Dahlia – Eating this delicate petal may lead to gastrointestinal upset and dermatitis.
- Poinsettia – There’s a reason for the phrase, “Beware of the poinsettia.” But, it’s not as toxic as we’ve been led to believe. However, it can cause irration of the mouth and stomach for kittens and puppies.
- Iris – no matter the colour, ingesting irises could come at price for your pet. Symptoms include: mild to moderate vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea.
- Also be aware of Forget-Me-Nots, Peace Lilies, Coleus, Lavender, and Lenten Rose as these are all mildly toxic when ingested.
- Hydrangea – Summer and fall gifts us with these vibrant blooms, but if consumed in large quantities, the showy flowers can be poisonous to people and pets.
- Aloe Vera – For humans, aloe vera works wonders for the skin and for burns. For dogs and cats, not so much. Symptoms include: vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors.
- Daffodil and Jonquil – It’s a good thing that daffodils are too pretty to eat, because if your pets munch on the bulbs, it can cause cardiac issues, convulsions, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Lily – To put it simply, lilies are definitely not the cat’s meow. This popular fragrant bulb can cause kidney failure for cats. Oddly enough, lilies don’t seem to affect dogs in the same way.
Be especially wary of including the following in your gardening plans:
- Lily of the Valley – We adore this shady flower, but it can produce serious symptoms in pets and people, including vomiting, heart arrythmias, seizures, and, ultimately, death.
- Tulip – Eating the cup-shaped flower may lead to convulsions and cardiac problems.
- Azaleas and Rhododendron – These bright and popular garden shrubs are not only dangerous for cats and dogs, but horses, goats, and sheep, too. If leaves are ingested by these animals, it can cause digestive problems, excessive drooling, weakness, and loss of appetite.
- Wisteria – While these climbing growers are useful for sprucing up your landscaping and vertical space, they can also be toxic to dogs and cats, particularly since wisteria contains poisonous seeds and pods.