Toxic Tuesday

Robins have arrived around the Ranch and with their residency, a number of flowering bulbs have likewise heralded the arrival of Spring. Along with those beautiful reminders the days are getting longer and warmer, however lurk some significant potential dangers. Remember the movie Lethal Weapon? Fun movie, but yeah, we’re not talking about Mel Gibson as a potential threat. What we are talking about are those garden plants that can be plenty lethal when you own pets. Sam here. What I’m talking about now are all those plants that we all love in our gardens that can be toxic landmines for us pets.

Just posing, not noshing.

You know how it goes…you been ‘enduring’ a lousy Winter, have a few days of sunshine and start jonesing for some garden time to redesign the perennial beds with some very cool and pretty plants. When you add pets to that formula, it can get complicated having a lush garden with beautiful perennials and keeping us fur-kids safe from potential danger.

Some of us “enjoy” four separate seasons and understand that Winter may likely do a ‘drive-by’ again over the next couple of weeks though I’m not optimistic these days. Here in the Mile High we are lacking on that front. I can’t even remember the last time I had to wear my hideous snow boots. Those of you in milder climes have probably already mowed your lawns, you lucky devils. But think for a minute, how safe is your yard? Have you ever have one of us fur-kids chew on something out in the yard only to come inside and either barf on your antique wool rug or act strangely? Maybe we got into something from this list?

Signs of poisoning are vomiting, lethargy, rapid or irregular breathing, irregular pulse and cold extremities. Remember most, if not all spring flowering bulbs, are toxic to your pets. As you plan (or dream) for your summer garden, keep in mind this pretty cool chart when planning your landscape and keep us 4 legged fur-iends in mind. It could easily save our lives unless you have a mom like mine who won’t let me look twice at anything slightly edible. She watches me like a darn hawk if I even gaze toward any of the lupines! The toxins in these plants can cause anything from mild nausea or diarrhea to all out fatal poisoning for our canine and feline fur-iends (see chart below for loads of info for both cats and dogs). Click on this comprehensive list for a better view.

Has Spring arrived in your neck of the woods? How do you keep your fur-kids safe from those garden pretties that can channel Mel Gibson as a lethal weapon by causing all sorts of problems if we manage to nosh on them?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

50 thoughts on “Toxic Tuesday

  1. We only plant natives. The list of toxic native plants is luckily relatively small for this area so it is much easier gardening on all fronts.

    1. Good for you! Natives are better for your local area anyway, but I confess I can’t avoid a clump of daffodils, hyacinths or tulips in the springtime to make me welcome spring. 🙂

      1. I got addicted to natives about 20 years ago and still have fun with it. Probably because I didn’t grow up here and Florida has an extensive of flowering plants.

  2. All of our flowering plants are on the other side of the fence so the girls can’t get to them. BUT, even when we had day lilies in the back flower beds, Callie and Shadow ignored them. (They preferred chewing on the dogwood sapling until they killed it.)

  3. I keep my cats inside, so the only thing they have to worry about is any of the lethal junk food I shovel into my face that misses my mouth…

    There should be an option when you upload photos to make them clickable for full resolution. I use it universally on my blog so I don’t even pay attention to it to know exactly what it says. Knowing WordPress, though, I’d guess each theme may come with different options and elements…

  4. We try to be careful what we plant – Hazel and Mabel want to eat everything.
    I don’t know if mushrooms are on your list but some can be very toxic. That is how we lost our Greta – she ate part of a mushroom when we were on an outing. Within 10 minutes she was very sick and 3 days later she was gone. It was one of the worst things I have ever gone through

  5. I dealt with this last spring at our new house with many established gardens. I didn’t know what half the plants were! I spent a lot of time researching. I had to fence off an area inside the dog yard, and I’ll still have to be diligent this spring to make sure nothing else unknown or unwanted pops up!

  6. For some reason, I can’t click on either list to make them bigger. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way though. When I moved 10 years ago, I got an azalea as a housewarming gift. With all the craziness of moving, I set the pot in the windowsill to get light and forgot about it. Until I got up the next morning to find a certain feline had eaten the ENTIRE plant and left just a pile of dirt and the pot. I didn’t realize they’re toxic until a few years later. Now, anyone who might send me flowers knows not to. I don’t let Bear out very often, but I know our garden has a few daffodils that come up every year (I rent … so I have no control over the garden … though I could dig up the bulb and feign ignorance when they never come up again). I know I’m overprotective … but all it takes is a few seconds. We got lucky with the azalea and I’m never going to make that mistake again!

    1. Rats, I’m wondering if it’s the difference between Apple and MicroSoft platforms.

      So many of the prettiest plants are extremely toxic. I watch Sam & Elsa like crazy whenever they are in the yard to avoid any ‘cat’astropes that befell you. 😊

  7. I mostly grow weeds, and I don’t think any are of the poisonous variety. 🙂 (We have had to mow twice this year.) (And the lists wouldn’t click for me, either.)

      1. Good, since that is mostly what my “lawn” consists of! So I guess you could say my front yard is a free perennial garden!!

  8. Important info! About a week ago we posted on Cody’s blog (March 27) an infographic and a link to ALL poisonous plants. There are tons that people don’t know about.

  9. Thanks for sharing! Always good to be reminded of this as spring rolls in, flowers and plants are starting to pop up all over my yard currently. I have a fenced area for my foster puppies and a aerial dog run for the moms, always do a pre-check before allowing them out for the first time, along with inspections every week, have never had a problem. One can never be too careful when puppies are concerned!

  10. I looked more closely at the list, and surprised to see tulips and tomatoes. My friend’s dog pulled them off the vine to eat. Squirrels eat tulips like they are bon bons. grrr.

    1. I wasn’t aware that tulips, daffodils, hyacinths…most if not all, of the flowering bulbs were on the list either! For squirrels to be able to eat those kinds of plants underscores their status as the cockroach of mammals. They will last when others disappear.

  11. hmmm maybe that’s why we keep our yard so barren out back. Mostly lawn ornaments, mulch, dirt. After the recycling incidents we even moved the cans outside the fence.
    Cole used to eat people’s cigs on the street but no plants really. We had to break him at least 4 times in his life of the cig. Gross. We saw another person flick one out her car window yesterday.

    1. Tobacco can be extremely toxic to animals (dogs, birds, deer). Some gardeners make a ‘tea’ from tobacco for spraying for insects and it is super effective. Litterers are clueless twits.

  12. We are slowly meandering toward winter and as far as I am aware, I have no toxic plants in my garden. The only problem I have is that Benji insists in eating grass weed and making himself sick. I try very hard to keep it under control and mainly I do – but he really is quite resourceful in finding it.

      1. Or may I say, birds of the same feather flock together..hehe. I have a former office mate who love saying “birds of the same flock feather together.

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

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