Garden Dangers For Pets: Poisonous Plants

Here at Tailster, we love a long summer’s afternoon in the garden with our pets. Give us a weekend of sunshine, a chilled bottle of fizz, and some four-legged, furry friends and we’re there!

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Whilst we love this time of year because it means we can finally spend some quality time out in the open, it’s also the time of year when our gardens are coming into bloom. It’s important, therefore, to be knowledgeable about the plants that we put in our gardens.

Some of the most common plants in the UK are known to be toxic to our pets, meaning that we can often be unknowingly placing them in danger. Here are some of the most common plants in UK gardens that are known to be poisonous:

  • Lilies¬†– Found in gardens and homes across the country, lilies are beautiful flowers and often a staple of any good bouquet. However, certain types of lily are potentially poisonous, especially for cats. Tiger , Easter, Arum, and Stargazer lilies are all known to be toxic, and even the pollen can be harmful. If you have pets – cats especially – in your home, it’s a good idea to steer clear of lilies. There have been incidents of cats brushing against the flower and being poisoned by simply licking their fur. Therefore, it’s better to eliminate the risk altogether.
  • Lily of the Valley – We’ve included this plant as separate from the other types of lily,¬† as it can have severe effects on both cats and dogs. Lily of the Valley contains a toxin that can cause diarrhoea, heart problems, fits, collapsing, and vomiting. Similarly, it’s a staple in bouquets, and one best avoided.
  • Rhododendron – Another popular plant in UK gardens, Rhododendron flowers are highly poisonous to cats and dogs. Even a few leaves eaten has been known to be toxic, meaning that these plants are probably best removed, to be on the safe side.
  • Yew Trees – One that we would never have considered, but toxic nonetheless. Almost all parts of the Yew tree are dangerous, with just 30g of leaves potentially harmful for dogs.
  • Daffodil – We pass countless rows of daffodils in parks and by roadsides at this time of the year. It’s surprising, then, that they can be so harmful! All parts of the plant can have negative effects, including the bulbs, which dogs often eat, but even a small bite can be lethal for a small animal. In fact, even water that has been in contact with cut daffodils has been known to be poisonous.
  • Philodendron – These make for great houseplants, but have also been known to be toxic. Not only can they be fatal for cats, who often chew the leaves, but contact with the plant can irritate the eyes and mouth, causing excessive dribbling. Therefore, Philodendron’s don’t make for good house plants if you have pets, and should be avoided.
  • Conkers & Acorns – Perhaps not so common in gardens unless there are trees around, but in parks especially these can often be found in the most unexpected places. Although they are not particularly fatal, both Conkers and Acorns have been known to cause stomach upsets. So, if you want to avoid vomiting and intestinal blockages, keep an eye on your pets while you’re out and about.

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Of course, this is not a cohesive list, and there are many other plants that can be harmful to animals. However, this is a guide to some of the most common plants that you’re likely to encounter during the coming months. Remember, there are a variety of hazards other than plants that it’s important to protect your pets against!

If you think your pet has been poisoned by eating any kind of plant, or if they’re showing signs of a stomach upset, for example, it’s always best to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

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