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Keeping the Garden Safe for Your Pets

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A leafy green yard is a retreat from everyday stresses for people, but could present a minefield of health problems for rambunctious pets -- if you're not careful.

A leafy green yard is a retreat from everyday stresses for people, but could present a minefield of health problems for rambunctious pets -- if you're not careful.

Take the lawn, for starters. Be sure to remove water dishes, pet food bowls and your pets from the yard before applying pesticides, which can attack the nervous system and cause your pet to vomit, salivate excessively, urinate, or even die suddenly. Let your pets return outdoors only after sprays have dried -- or even the next day, suggested the Professional Lawn Care Association of America, based in Marietta, Georgia. Use dry granular pesticides? Wait until the dust has settled to let Rover roam.

Beyond that, even some common plants you may be planning to buy to spruce up your yard are toxic to most animals, according to the American Animal Hospital Association, a Denver-based professional organization for veterinarians. The organization suggests keeping your pets and small children away from several plants, including:

  • Avocado
    Fatal to birds, this plant's leaves, seeds, stems and skin are considered a cardiovascular toxin. It also can cause kidney or organ failure.
  • Amaryllis
    A showy flower, whether striped or solid white. Yet, its bulb is considered a gastrointestinal and neurological toxin.
  • Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
    These pretty, petite flowers are considered very poisonous, not to mention a cardiovascular and gastrointestinal toxin.
  • Azalea
    A lovely bush filled with flowers. Yet, it's a cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and neurological toxin for animals.
  • Begonia
    A pretty flower to people, but potentially fatal to pets. Can cause kidney or organ failure.
  • Castor bean
    A shrub-like plant with clustered seed pods, this African native is potentially fatal if chewed.
  • Foxglove (Digitalis)
    One of its nicknames -- Dead Men's Bells -- is a clue that this bell-shaped, tubular flower can be fatal.
  • Hydrangea
    A hardy, showy shade-loving flower, the plant contains cyanide.
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
    Usually found in the woods, this flowering plant can cause kidney or organ failure.
  • Lantana
    Its clusters of tiny flowers attract butterflies, yet the plant can cause liver failure in pets.
  • Lilies
    Easter Lily, tiger lily, Japanese showy lilies, day lilies and others in the Lilium family (Liliaceae) are very toxic and is known to cause kidney failure and death in cats, as well as other animals. Lily of the valley known for sweet-smelling flowers, yet potentially fatal to pets.
  • Oleander
    Its pastel flowers make it a popular bush, yet it's very poisonous and can be fatal to pets.
  • Philodendron
    Big, leafy, green and showy, this plant can cause kidney or organ failure in animals.
  • Poinsettia
    The famous Christmas plant can bring on dermatitis in animals. It's also a gastrointestinal toxin.
  • Rhubarb leaves
    Can cause kidney or organ failure in animals.
  • Rosary Pea
    A slender vine with pea-shaped pods, this plant can be fatal if chewed.
  • Sago Palm
    Palm tree looking plant up to 6 feet diameter, growing slowly to 10 feet high. Can potentially produce vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, liver failure, and even death.
  • Scheffelera (a.k.a. umbrella plant)
    This leafy green -- and often indoor -- plant can cause kidney or organ failure.
  • Yew
    A tree or ornamental plant with needle-like foliage, it is fatal to most animals.


For more information, ask your veterinarian.

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24 Jul 2010 6:40 pm

checkitout7 said:

Excellent Information! Every pet owner should know, thank you!

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