Pet Toxins: Awareness and Safety Tips

A white puppy being played with in the grassAh, spring…with its flowers, warm weather, and lush lawns and gardens, what’s not to love? It’s the perfect season for getting out with your pet companion and spending some quality time grilling on the deck or simply relaxing under the sun.

Springtime, however, brings some common pet toxins and poisonous plants that present risks to your four-legged pal. To make this colorful season one that’s enjoyable for all, Berkeley Veterinary Center wants you to know about some of the plants and substances that should be avoided.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips (Without Your Pet)

Some of the plants and shrubs we love are also poisonous to cats and dogs. Even if you keep your pet strictly indoors, it’s often safest to forgo some of these toxic plants entirely.

Before bringing any potted beauty or bouquet into the home, cross-reference it with the ASPCA’s extensive list of toxic blooms.

Here are some of the worst offenders for pet emergencies:

  • Lilies
  • Tulips
  • Hyacinths
  • Daffodils
  • Crocus
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Oleander
  • Yew
  • Azalea
  • Sago palm

It’s also important to note that while roses can cause gastrointestinal upset and the potential for lacerations (thorns), avoid all rose bushes when out with your fur friend. These plants are often fertilized with blood meal and a type of fertilizer for roses which contains toxic chemicals.

Speaking of Fertilizers…

Whether “all natural” or commercial, many fertilizers contain ingredients that are toxic to pets, including chemicals, blood and bone meals, and added iron. These ingredients can cause a wide range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and seizures.

Compost and mulch can appeal to pets, especially when they contain tasty yet toxic food stuffs, like onions, garlic, and cocoa shells.

Instead of putting these risks on your lawn and garden, try using hearty local plants and veggies that naturally flourish without additives or fence off the area where any of these substances will be used.

Easter Baskets and Indoor Pet Toxins

Now that we’ve made it through Valentine’s Day (hopefully) without any problems, don’t forget the Easter bunny is waiting.

Sugary confections, chocolate rabbits, and the sugar-free additive Xylitol make the “do not mix with pets” list. Instead, keep all baskets and seasonal goodies up on a high shelf or in a cupboard when they aren’t being enjoyed by the family.

Better yet – add to the festive events of the day by creating a special, pet-safe basket for your fur friend to enjoy (ask us for some ideas!).

Spring is also synonymous with what spring cleaning….and with cleaning comes an array of products and chemicals. This includes overhauling the garage where automobile fluids such as coolant/antifreeze, rodenticides, and pesticides often lurk.

When you and your family are busy cleaning the home and garage, consider boarding your pet for the day or finding a pet-safe zone in your home, such as a spare bedroom, where he or she can relax (with toys!). And don’t forget to clean up spills and stow away toxic items in a closed cupboard.

If you have more questions about common home and garden pet toxins, we’re always here to help. Simply give us a call!

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