TOXIC PLANTS AND FOODS
Houseplants and flower gardens are beautiful and functional; however, some may present a hazard to our pets. It is important that houseplant owners be aware of the potential problems that toxic plants might cause. A harmful reaction could include allergic reactions, dermatitis or skin irritation, or internal poisoning. Some plants are more toxic than others and symptoms will vary with the plant and amount ingested. Symptoms of plant toxicity include vomiting, convulsions, diarrhea, salivation, weakness, depression, or pain. With some plants only certain parts are toxic (i.e. roots, seeds, fruit, leaves or stems). Many of the frequently-planted spring-flowering bulbs are toxic, most particularly lily-of-the-valley, daffodils and tulips. Autumn-flowering bulbs such as Colchicum are also highly toxic. If you have a pet that is a digger, it is best to avoid these bulbs unless they are completely inaccessible. To be safe, you should always check with your veterinarian if your pet eats any plant material. Record what the pet ingested, when it was ingested and how much. Immediately call your veterinarian or poison control center. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so.
In addition to plants, many foods that are considered good for people can be very dangerous for our furry companions. Here is a list of just some of the foods that can harm our pets. If your pet consumes any of these items, it is important to alert your veterinarian or consult poison control.
• Alcoholic beverages
• Apple seeds and the pits of apricots, cherries, plums and peaches
• Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
• Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)
• Gum (can cause blockages and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
• Hops (used in home beer brewing)
• Onions and onion powder
• Raw eggs or meat
• Tea (because it contains caffeine)
• Yeast dough