Don’t Let Pretty Poisons Tempt Your Furry Friends
With leaves that can be used to soothe skin irritations and burns, aloe vera plants provide a handy grow-your-own first-aid kit for humans. But they are the opposite of healing for dogs and cats, causing tummy trouble and lethargy, as well as possibly a trip to the vet. Despite how human-like our fur babies can be to us, they can be put at risk by things we take for granted, including plants.
The good news? You can still have a greenery-filled home and lush landscape as long as you do some homework before hitting the garden center!
The Bad Seeds
One of the easiest ways to ensure your pets and plants can coexist is to check out the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website, which has printable lists of plants and their effects on dogs and cats. (If you have other pets, consult your vet.)
Additionally, the ASPCA operates the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), a 24-hour hotline for pet owners and vets to contact if they suspect a pet has ingested something poisonous. The APCC lists the following as the Top 10 toxic plants for pets:
Munching on these and other toxic plants can cause your pets to experience symptoms ranging from indigestion to organ failure or even death, so it’s critical to look up every plant before you bring it home. And if you move into a house with existing landscaping, check the safety of every plant before letting your fur baby loose in the yard.
The list of plants that have been deemed safe for cats and dogs includes a huge variety of colorful, fragrant, and hardy specimens, so having pets doesn’t limit your horticultural horizons. That said, it’s important to note that any plant could cause vomiting and gastrointestinal symptoms if eaten. “Safe” plants are not expected to be life-threatening, but that doesn’t mean you should let Fido and Fluffy treat your greenery like a salad bar.
Additionally, note that some plants that look similar or are from the same general family may have very different effects, so when shopping for plants, make sure you know what you’re buying.
A sampling of dog- and cat-friendly plants includes:
Sharing Isn’t Always Caring!
We’re all tempted to share our favorite treats with our furry friends, but not all human food is fit for animals. Here are a few foods you should keep out of reach of your pets:
*Whether from coffee, tea, or other sources
In Case of Emergency
If your pet gets into something they shouldn’t, call your vet or ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number at (888) 426-4435. Be prepared to give as much information as possible on the amount and substance eaten.