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Can My Houseplants Or Landscaping Poison My Puppy Or Kitten?

Aug 17, 2007
The answer to this question is an emphatic yes, many plants can sicken or even kill your pets. I sincerely feel that stores and nurseries that sell plants should abide by some kind of national label system to identify potentially poisonous plants. For example, deer ate and killed one of my landscaping plants last year and we replaced the plant with a beautiful rhododendron this spring, purchased from a very reputable and knowledgeable nursery. We made sure that we planted our rhododendron where it has the proper amount of light and shade, we used a whole bag of the correct acid fertilized soil and we have been making sure it is properly watered. The plant is doing great. Now that we have a new puppy that chews on everything including tasting all landscaping plants, I come to find out that this plant is very toxic to dogs. What the heck, I feel that we should have been warned.

Some signs of animal poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal urine, salivation, difficulty breathing, weakness, and dizziness. If you think that your pet has been poisoned contact your veterinarian immediately. If he is unavailable, you might want to contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. The Animal Poison Control Center is a valuable resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, make the call that can make all the difference. (888) 426-4435. A $55 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.

If you can figure out which plant your pet ate, which part of the plant he ate and how much he may have eaten, that will help your veterinarian. If you have the time, take a sample of the plant with you to the veterinarian for identification. This might be very helpful.

I include a list of toxic plants. Not all plants will kill. Some pets will completely ignore plants, others will chew on plants every chance they get. The degree of toxicity of plants also depends up the season, the part of the plant eaten and the size of the pet and quantity eaten. Also different pet species and even different pet breeds may be affected differently. There are a lot of variables. It may be about impossible to fully protect your pet but as you buy new plants and add them to the backyard or house, you should have access to enough knowledge to avoid future potential problems. You may also want to give away some of the more dangerous houseplants to friends without pets.

One thing to keep in mind is that even if a plant if toxic, it is not necessarily fatal. Other symptoms can be much less severe. Some toxic plants can cause rash and irritation, some can make your pets lips and tongue sore, some may produce abdominal pair and diarrhea, some vomiting, and cramps, others hallucinations, tumors, heart and respiratory problems and kidney problems. The following lists are not complete by any means.

Aloe Vera, Burn Plant
Flamingo Lily
Angels Wings
Chrysanthemums, Mums
Kaffir Lily
Angels Trumpet
Dumb Cane
English Ivy
Devils Backbone
Jerusalem Cherry

Castor Bean
Choke Cherry
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Morning Glory
Red Sage
Sweet Pea
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer, editor and website developer for the popular pet site petpages.com. www.petpages.com is a pet information site with free pet ads, dog classifieds, and puppy for sale info. Petpages.com also offers information on cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs.
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