RSPCA reveal which common toxic plants to AVOID
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Keeping our cats and dogs safe from harmful foods is one thing, but making sure our beloved furry friends are safe in the garden is often overlooked. Autumnal gardens could be harbouring poisonous plants which could harm our pets – but how do you know what to look out for? Green-fingered gardening expert Calum Maddock has rounded up his toxic-top-five to keep you assured your pets are safe at home.
The unrecognisable orange and rusty hues of our cold-season gardens are here to stay with hardy varieties cropping up in the soil around our homes.
As plants flourish in mild weather conditions, it’s a good time to check your garden for toxic species lurking around your lawn.
With most of us unaware of these potentially fatal plants, sick pets and huge veterinary bills could be on the cards if households are complacent about the contents of their garden.
Everything from hydrangeas to acorns and crocuses can be harmful to your four-legged friends so check your garden against this guide for safer exploring for your pets.
Which garden plants are toxic to pets?
These five plants and their autumnal debris are all potentially fatal to our pets but it’s important to know exactly which parts of the plant are dangerous.
Calum Maddock’s toxic top five:
- Acorns and conkers – green acorns (unripe) are the most harmful
- Yew trees
- Horse chestnut trees
- Autumn crocuses
Which parts of these plants are poisonous?
Acorns and Conkers
If eaten in large quantities by your cats or dogs, acorns and conkers can be extremely toxic.
Despite looking like an appetising chew toy, nibbling on these autumnal items can lead your pets to become lethargic, lose their appetite and vomit.
Watch out for acorns and conkers hiding under piles of leaves.
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Hydrangea bulbs are highly toxic to cats and dogs as they are full of cyanide.
Calum told Express.co.uk: “Although serious cases of poisoning are rare they can cause stomach problems, vomiting and intestinal blockages.”
- The deep, rich green needles of the yew tree are extremely dangerous if nibbled by pets
- The seeds, leaves and needles all pose a risk and can lead to dangerous illness – or even death
Horse Chestnut Trees
Horse Chestnut trees pose a significant threat from September onwards, says Calum.
The tree bark, leaves and flowers can all be fatal to animals if consumed and are known to cause gastrointestinal distress, disorientation, spasms and even death.
These beautiful blooms are a sight to behold as they flourish through September and October.
Keep curious dogs away from these stunning autumnal flowers at all costs to avoid gastrointestinal upset including drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea.
How to avoid run-ins with poisonous plants and your pets
Careful training, plant barriers or the complete removal of the plant or tree in question are all options to explore if you’re concerned you have these plants in your garden.
If you suspect your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and take them to the vet.
Other toxic plants include:
- Chrysanthemum (all parts of the plant are toxic)
- Amaryllis (all parts of this plant are toxic)
- Oleander (less than a handful of leaves can be fatal to dogs and cats)
- Ragwort (even small doses can be fatal to cats and dogs)
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