Summer is here, the garden is growing and you and your dog, cat or other beloved pet are no doubt enjoying some much needed sunshine outdoors.
But experts are warning that there are plenty of plants growing in our ordinary gardens and back yards that could cause problems for dogs and cats in particular – everything from vomiting to full on coma and even death.
You probably already knew about foxgloves and pond algae, but it turns out there are quite a few different plants that you should make sure your pet pup doesn’t try to munch on.
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Stairlift and home lift company Stannah’s gardening expert, Mark Lane, shares his top tips to pet-proof your garden – from dangerous plants to design considerations.
Toxic flowers and foliage
Mr Lane said: “When it comes to plants it’s not just the foliage, flowers and stems that you see above ground. Many flowering bulbs such as autumn crocus, cyclamen, tulip, daffodil alongside any member of the lily family can cause serious symptoms like gastrointestinal irritation, loss of appetite or, in extreme conditions, convulsions in your pet
“If you can’t bear to part with these plants, then grow them in pots and containers which your dog or cat cannot reach. You could also place a little chicken wire over the container so that they cannot dig it out – this will also stop determined squirrels too!
“Azaleas and rhododendrons are also on the watchlist, as they contain grayanotoxins which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and sadly, in severe cases, coma and death from cardiovascular collapse
“Yew or Taxus spp. contain taxine which can cause trembling, loss of coordination and difficulty breathing
“Compositae plants, such as daises and chrysanthemums contain pyrethrins which may lead to gastrointestinal problems and vomiting when consumed
“Even English ivy, Hedera helix, contains triterpenoid saponins resulting in potential vomiting and diarrhea.
“Avoid the better known toxic plants like foxglove, delphinium, tomato and wisteria.”
Which garden plants are safe for dogs (and other adorable animals)?
He added: “It’s not all doom and gloom, however! There are still many houseplants and outdoor blooms that you can grow without fear.
“We cannot, however, watch our pets 24 hours a day. If they’re tempted to take a bite of something or dig it up because they think it’s fun it’s always best to check published lists, follow the advice and select plants that are safe.”
Consider these pretty, panic-free plants:
Rattlesnake plants (Calathea lancifola)
Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum)
African violets (Streptocarpus sect. Saintpaulia)
Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis sp.)
Date palms (Phoenix canariensis)
Bedding plants such as nasturtium, nemesia, petunia and pansies
Certain types of roses are also safe for pets
Valerians and Catmint (Nepeta sp.) are also great for cats – you can even put into a little cloth bag for them to play with too.