Springtime Blooms and Your Pet: What to Know About Toxic Plants

What to Know

  • Tulips are among the most deadly plant to pets
  • There are ways to ensure your pets are safe and keep beautiful springtime blooms in your home
  • If your pet ingests a toxic plant, seek professional help immediately

Springtime brings beautiful blooms to San Diego County but some of those blooms are among the most deadly to naturally-curious pets. 

There are certain plants that bloom in the spring that can be poisonous to animals if eaten, said Linda Septon, adoption counselor with Chula Vista Animal Care Facility. You may be growing these toxic plants in your backyard, and often these plants are given as a bouquet gift in the spring. 

Here's what pet owners need to know: 

What is Toxic to Pets? 

Daffodils, cyclamen and tulips are among the plants that sprout in spring that can cause pets to get sick to their stomach, Septon said.

"(Tulips) are deadly, especially the bulbs. The bulbs are super deadly," Septon said.

Lilies can also be deadly to furry friends and all varieties should also be kept away from pets, Septon warns.

"Even a cat eating one petal or even some of the pollen from the stamens here, it can lead to kidney failure and death in 4 to 7 days," Septon said.

Geraniums, which are drought resistant and easy to grow, can cause anorexia, depression and vomiting, Septon said.

Certain palm trees can also be dangerous.

"This particular variety of palm called the sago, the leaves can cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, convulsions, seizures," said Septon.

Dogs will sometimes see their owner plant bulbs in the yard, and try to dig them out later, which may be toxic to the animal.

How to Have Spring Blooms but Keep Pets Safe: 

If you do want springtime blooms in your backyard, there are ways to ensure your pets can't get their paws on them:

Chicken wire and mulch can help prevent dogs from getting to the buried bulbs.

Dogs often dig because they're bored, so it's important to have toys in the backyard and a shady area for pets to rest, Septon said.

Any kind of plant could cause your pet to vomit but some are relatively safe. Here are some safer options to keep around the house: 

Sunflowers, marigolds, hibiscus and all varieties of daisies are okay for your pet to chew on.

What to do if a Toxic Plant is Ingested: 

If your pet does ingest a toxic plant, Septon said to ask a professional for help as quickly as possible. 

Some pet owners try to make their dog or cat vomit to get rid of the toxin but that could actually make the animal sicker, Septon said.

Pet owners should instead contact the 24-hour animal poison control hotline 888-426-4435 immediately and know the kind of plant the animal ingested.

Pet parents should also know the closest 24-hour emergency clinic and take the pet to a veterinarian if a toxic plant is ingested.

Here is a list of toxic and non-toxic plants for animals.

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