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  • Writer's pictureTraci Wilkerson Steckel

National Poison Prevention Week: Plants

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Today our topic for pet poison prevention is plants and plant derivatives.

Lexi and Emee with a non-toxic succulent. Traci's Paws The Paws Spot.

Plants are such great additions to our homes. They bring color and life and sometimes even fragrances that keep us feeling great. Heck, some people start with a plant before adopting a pet. But do you know that some of the most common household plants are toxic for your pets? What about things you bring in your home that are derivatives of plants like essential oils?

Lilies are popular in the spring and for Easter, but they are highly toxic to people and plants. Traci's Paws, The Paws Spot.

If you are either bringing a pet home for the first time or moving to a new house with your pets, it’s a great idea to scan your yard and get to know which plants are there. Check the garden, flowers, succulents, shrubs, and trees that drop blooms, leaves, and fruit that may be toxic for your pet. Of course, you can't always pick up every single leaf and bloom that fall, but at least you'll know which areas of the yard are safe and which ones are off-limits.

I’ve included a few lists with toxic plants that you can look over below. Remember, I am not a veterinarian or botanist. Please consult with your veterinarian if you want to know which plants may be harmful to your pets.

In addition to actual plants, I also want to bring awareness to items made from plants that we may use day-to-day in our homes. Things are derived from plants like essential oils, perfumes, liquid potpourri, and candles. Be sure that the oils you are using on yourself or in diffusers are not toxic to animals. In addition to some of the toxic oils, the chemicals they are infused with might be too. Just be sure to read the fine print.

Jade and Oleander are both common shrubs, but toxic to pets. Traci's Paws, The Paws Spot.

I know that we are all human. I do not expect you to remove every harmful plant from your yard or throw away all of your essential oils. This is to bring awareness to which items are dangerous for your pets. I also know that each pet is different. Some things can affect a cat’s respiratory system where it may not work for a dog. I also know that not all dogs like to chew on plants, but some may walk through freshly cut oleander, then lick their paws after. This is for you to think about and plan according to how your home and pets operate.

Some essential oils are safe for pets, while others are extremely toxic. Traci's Paws, The Paws Spot.

I also want to let you know that if you live in SoCal and use essential oils, are new to them, or even considering using them, one of our friends Carol Wylie, teaches classes, and one is coming up on April 11, “Essential Oils and Pets.” She will teach you which oils are safe for your pets and how to properly use them in your home and even on your pets! Please RSVP for this very informative and FREE class by clicking on this link, “Essential Oils and Pets.”

Remember, some of the signs of plant poisoning can be vomiting, respiratory trouble, skin irritations, suffering from incoordination, and even death. Please call your veterinarian for a long list of signs and always call your vet if you think your pet is suffering from poisoning.

Here is a list containing toxic flowers, shrubs, and garden plants online by Homes Alive Pets.

This list has succulents that are toxic and non-toxic, like the ones our spokesdogs are photographed with above.

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