Pet Poisons: Danger in the garden

Some favourite flowers and prized plants can be your pets’ worst enemies. The American SPCA lists hundreds of pet-poisoning plants, including these 10 common SA plants.

    • Daffodil Danger – Squirrels tend to leave daffodil bulbs alone. That’s good news for gardeners, but bad news for cats and dogs. The bulbs are the most toxic part of the plant and can poison dogs and cats.
    • Tulip bulbs are toxic too, and not just to pets. Humans should think twice before tasting a tulip.
    • Periwinkle may have a sissy name, but this ground cover can kill a cat or dog if they ingest it. The poison punch of periwinkle comes from vinca alkaloids.
    • Rhododendrons can be the end of the road for pets. Eating a few leaves can cause serious problems, even death. The plant contains a nasty nerve poison, grayanotoxin. That poison can contaminate honey if bees feast on rhododendrons.
    • The slimy sap of an aloe plant can sooth burned skin, and the chemicals, known as saponins, make aloe a naturally foamy shampoo. But those same chemicals are deadly to fish — and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors in cats and dogs.
    • English ivy, also contains saponins. The effects on cats and dogs makes them very sick and the leaves pack more toxic punch than the berries.
    • Chamomile tea may sooth human nerves, but the plant can cause allergic reactions in cats and dogs as well as skin irritation, vomiting and diarrhea.
    • An apple’s leaves, stems and seeds release cyanide when chewed.
    • Oils in the many-colored foliage of coleus plants can cause vomiting and bloody diarrhea in dogs and cats.
    • Daisies and other chrysanthemum species contain natural pesticides that can poison pets.


READ MORE: The top 6 poisonous foods for your pet


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