Springtime Plants to AVOID if You Have Pets!

Recently, my husband and I have been itching to buy some plants for our home. Neither of us have a green thumb and we have killed literally each and every plant that has come into our care. But it never fails that year after year around springtime we just want to fill our home and make it look like the Amazon rain forest!

Springtime is the perfect time to let your inner green thumb shine and make your home look like it came straight out of a Joanna Gaines magazine. However, not all plants and flowers are safe for your entire family!

If your family is anything like mine, you cherish your pets just like they were your children. That’s why, when choosing plants to place in or outside your home, you need to be aware of toxic foliage that could harm your furry friends. Here is a list of plants to avoid to make sure your whole family is safe:

Azaleas

There is no doubt that the Azalea is a beautiful flower. However, as in most cases, beauty can be deadly! This flower is part of the Rhododendron family which is poisonous for both pets AND humans to consume. It is very likely your dog or cat would be curious about this plant and try to taste it. If that happens, the ASPCA recommends you contact your vet immediately!

Symptoms: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Weakness, and Cardiac Failure

Lilies

Lilies are another plant that can be pleasing to the eye, but not so pleasing when consumed by your pets! These plants are non-toxic to dogs but can induce vomiting in cats and cause them to experience kidney failure if they have too much. You should avoid planting these plants in your front yards even if you do not own a cat – you never know what the neighborhood strays might get into!

Symptoms: Kidney Failure (cats only)

Daisies

Daisies are part of the mum family. These flowers are very common and can be found everywhere on the planet (except for Antarctica of course!) Because of their color and connotation to innocence and springtime, the Daisy is one of the most popular flowers. To humans, their petals are edible and can even be nutritious! But that doesn’t mean they are ok for our furry friends to eat. According to the ASPCA, Daisies are toxic to both dogs and cats and should be avoided in households with pets!

Symptoms: Diahrrea, Vomiting, Dermatitis

Daffodils

A popular plant in the southern United States around springtime, Daffodils can be toxic to both humans and pets alike! While these flowers are easy to plant and maintain, the bulbs of the plant are extremely poisonous. Dogs can easily dig the bulbs up and play with them or consume them entirely. They are also lethal to cats and even horses!

Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Low Blood Pressure

Elephant Ears

Also called Alocasia or Colocasia, Elephant Ears are popular plants for gardeners looking to add a drama to their lawns. They get their name from their size and shape resembling an elephant’s ear. These plants can be dangerous to both dogs and cats, inducing vomiting and swollen mouths.

Symptoms: Pain/irritation of the mouth, difficulty swallowing, vomiting.

Irises

This botanical plant produces showy petals that can be alluring to dogs and cats who are naturally curious. If consumed these plants can induce vomiting and diarrhea. The ASPCA recommends contacting them or your vet ASAP if you suspect they may have ingested any part of this plant.

Symptoms: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Lethargy, Drooling

Oleander

Also called Nerium, the Oleander plant is one of the most dangerous plants for you pets to consume. These pretty flowers should never be kept indoor by pet owners and planted outdoors only with extreme caution. The ASPCA lists one of the symptoms of you pets consuming an Oleander plant as death. Avoid this plant at all costs.

Symptoms: Abdominal Pain, Drooling, Depression, Death

Tulips

Tulips hold a special place in my heart. Every spring, my university would plant red tulips across the entire campus. I loved how it made the red brick of the buildings pop and the tradition of the planting became one of my favorites. I would absolutely love to be able to plant these flowers at my own home, however, they are very toxic to both dogs and cats (and I have 4 of each!) If you would still like to plant tulips, you can. It is recommended you do so only in areas with very few strays who can dig the tulips up and eat the bulbs – the most poisonous part.

Symptoms: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Depression

Spanish Thyme

Unlike most of the other plants on this list, the toxicity of Spanish Thyme comes from the oils that the plant produces. This herb is a common mainstay in many backyard herb gardens and can add an oregano like flavor to your food, but is very toxic to both dogs and cats.

Symptoms: Bloody vomiting and diarrhea, Depression, and even Anorexia

 

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are a lot of plants that should be avoided for pet owners throughout the year. For a more in-depth look at toxic plants for your pets, visit the ASPCA website and perform a search to see if any of your current houseplants may be poisonous. Happy planting!

 

-Jonathan

 

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