Poisonous Plants for Pets

by Seasonal Wisdom on April 16, 2009

Meet Maggie O’Connor, the newest addition to our family. She’s a sweet-tempered, lovable hound mix that we adopted from the Idaho Humane Society a few months ago. Isn’t she a beauty? Keeping her safe is our top priority. That’s why we knew it was important to familiarize ourselves with plants that could make pets like Maggie sick.

What’s Dangerous? According to the Humane Society, there are hundreds of plants that can cause everything from mild nausea to death in animals. Here’s their list

Coleus, chamomile, calla lilies and chrysanthemums are just a few popular plants that can make your pup ill, reports the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Incidentally, these coleus (or “coleuses,” if you’re a stickler for grammar) were grown by Elaine and Pat McCoy from seeds. Fortunately, the McCoy’s two dogs — Hillary and Clinton — stay far away from these plants.

Biggest Problems? To determine the plants most likely to poison pets, Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (VPI) reviewed more than 400 claims it received for these types of incidents in 2008. The top 10 poisonous plants most likely to be ingested by pets are:

1. Raisins/Grapes
2. Mushrooms
3. Marijuana
4. Lily
5. Walnuts
6. Onion
7. Sago Palm
8. Macadamia Nuts
9. Azalea
10. Hydrangea

Did Your Pet Eat a Poisonous Plant? If you think your pet is ill or may have ingested a poisonous plant, the ASPCA advises you to call your local veterinarian or its 24-hour emergency hotline directly at 1-888-426-4435.

As for Maggie… It’s discouraging that so many plants can make our pets sick. With Maggie, we’re limiting her exposure to various plants, and we’re correcting her whenever she tries to eat any plant. So far, she seems disinterested, fortunately.

Meanwhile, we welcome any pet-friendly suggestions for gardens that work for you.

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