Living in Florida definitely has its perks. The year-round warm temperatures encourage the growth of a plethora of landscaping and garden plants that beautifully flourish in the Sunshine State. But what is seen as an attractive benefit for people, can be alluring risk to your pets. Much like a variety of foods, the plants that decorate and surround your home can prove toxic to your cat or dog when eaten. Because you can’t always know what your dog or cat will be attracted to, or consume, make sure to do your homework before adding plants to your landscape or indoor decor. Avoid including the following plants that could be risky for both dogs and cats:
- Aloe Vera – Understood to be a great salve for those sunburns that are so prevalent under the Florida sun, the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea and tremors in both dogs and cats.
- Begonias – Though very popular as a garden and container plant, pet owners should add this flowering bush with caution. Consumption can cause intense burning in mouth, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
- Cyclamen – Also quite popular both indoors and out, this flowering plant and its roots have been shown to cause fatalities in some cases. Intense vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation are the most common symptoms.
- Daffodil – This dainty spring-time bulb is highly toxic to both cats and dogs. If you have a dog who likes to dig, avoid adding daffodil bulbs to your garden as they are the most toxic part of the plant. Symptoms range from increased drooling, vomiting and diarrhea to low blood pressure, tremors and even cardiac arrhythmia.
- Hosta – This green, broad-leafed shrub is gorgeous to look at but it can also cause vomiting and diarrhea when ingested by either canines or felines.
- Lilies – Yes, lilies are extremely popular in Florida as well as the rest of the country, but are particularly dangerous to cats. Many types, including Tiger, Asian, Easter and Stargazer, can cause kidney failure in cats. Dogs are unaffected by the plant however. Make sure to check with your local landscaper before adding any type of lily if you are a cat owner.
- Milkweed – If your intent is to attract butterflies to your yard, then milkweed is your go-to choice. But where our winged friends can’t get enough of the flowering plant, it can be quite noxious to both cats and dogs. Symptoms of its poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness and fatigue; which can be followed by seizures, difficulty breathing, kidney or liver failure, coma respiratory paralysis and even death.
- Oleander – Many people understand that this flowering shrub is poisonous to people but don’t consider its toxicity levels for pets. Dogs, cats and even horses are at risk from bloody diarrhea, colic, difficulty breathing, muscle tremors and even cardiac failure.
- Sago Palm – It should come as no surprise that Florida homes and landscapes has more than their fair share of Sago Palms as the area’s climate is perfect for the ornamental plant; but unfortunately, animals have been known to enjoy them too – as a tasty treat. Ingestion can cause vomiting, intestinal bleeding, bruising, liver damage and failure and possibly death.
If you have any reason to suspect that your dog or cat has ingested any part of an indoor or outdoor plant, contact our Davie animal hospital right away. Remember, prevention is always the best medicine, for both you and your beloved pets so before adding plants and flowers to your home, ask for recommendations from your local landscaper in Davie.