leaf me alone

Personally, I love Brussels sprouts. Best part of Christmas dinner. However, I’ve never been tempted by greens that might include a decorative bowl of potpourri, a Sago Palm or a Kentucky Coffee Tree. Suffice to say that Petplan insured pets have been more than tempted by these “greens,” resulting in unenviable visits to the emergency vet. Joking aside, poisonous plant ingestion is a common, and often serious, cause for veterinary visits. I always encourage pet parents to take a look around their house and see what might prove to be irresistible to their pets’ taste. Some of the most common culprits are:

  • Lilies – Extremely toxic to cats. Even small amounts can cause kidney damage.
  • Sago palm – Any part of the plant is poisonous, but the seeds or nuts are most toxic.
  • Tulip bulbs – Make sure Fido’s not digging up and eating those perennials you planted last year.
  • Holly – While not severely toxic, a trip to the ER for vomiting and diarrhea can take the edge off your “Christmas in July” plans.
  • Wild mushrooms – A really common Petplan claim, especially in spring. While the varieties of mushrooms are too numerous to go into here, keep pets away from any wild mushrooms as some are extremely toxic.
  • Foxglove, belladonna, larkspur – Beautiful but deadly plants that contain a toxin that affects the heart. A relatively small taste of these garden favorites could result in cardiac arrhythmias and even death.
  • Tomato, eggplant, potato and other members of the nightshade family – Their foliage and stems contain dangerous alkaloids that can actually prove fatal if too much is ingested.

When it comes to where you choose to plant, avoid the perimeter of your yard. Dogs will instinctively (and repeatedly) patrol fence lines and boundaries. While creating a “natural perimeter” may look aesthetically pleasing for your neighbors, it could spell trouble for your four-legged yard patrol. Going green can be greatly beneficial for both you and your pets, and keeping your home, yard and garden free from hazards is easy with simple planning. To see what other garden dangers to avoid, check out my Top 10 Tips for Gardening with Dogs on blog.gopetplan.com.