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Keeping Your Yard Safe for Pets: Poisonous Plants and Safe Alternatives

dog grass yard blogYour yard is a great place for the whole family to spend time. If your family includes a canine or feline companion, it’s important to keep your outdoor space safe and free of potentially dangerous plants. Below are four plants that pet owners should avoid and some suggestions for safe alternatives:

sago palm edited1.) Sago Palm: The Sago palm is a popular landscaping choice in temperate climates. The problem is, every part of this palm (especially the seeds) is poisonous. The bamboo palm is a safer choice if you have a dog or a cat.

lillies edited2.) Lilly: Many lily varieties are toxic to cats, causing kidney failure. One feline-safe alternative is the resurrection lily.

morning glory edited 23.) Morning glory: This flower can cause disorientation in dogs and cats. Petunias are a pretty alternative that’s safe for four-legged companions.

oleander edited 24.) Oleander: Although beautiful, the oleander bush is highly toxic to both animals and people. For a safer (and more colorful) alternative, give the ixora a try.

Keep in mind that plants aren’t the only dangers lurking in your garden. Cocoa mulch contains theobromine which, if ingested, can cause adverse reactions in pets. The harmful chemicals in fertilizers can also pose a danger to dogs and cats.

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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • melaine keath July 29, 2014, 5:36 am

    Keep all pets safe

  • Yvette July 29, 2014, 8:29 am

    Also watch out for toadstools. Our vet told us to keep an eye out for them. We do get some that grow in our front yard when it has rained or we have watered the lawn. Just get something to use while you pluck them out of the ground. Even though you have pulled them out, you might get more.

  • Julia July 29, 2014, 12:07 pm

    While we are on the subject, I live in the PNW. We have a fair number of ornamental “plum” trees. These are a deciduous tree with pink blooms much like cherry trees, but they carry a red leaf that drops in late spring to be replaced by a much greener leaf. Two out of my four dogs go after these red leaves like a vacuum cleaner (not the green ones so much.) Has anyone heard if/that the effect of ingesting these leaves can be cumulative? Neither of the dogs has had any problems thus far that would lead me to think they are connected to the leaves… but they are both form the same general lines of dogs, and one (being older and having consumed WAY more leaves LOL) has gradually developed a digestive absorption issue. Thanks for any insight.

  • Christiane T. Flank July 29, 2014, 4:15 pm

    Very good information! Thank you!

  • Jordan Walker July 29, 2014, 6:07 pm

    Don’t forget the Aloe Plan.It is used as a home remedy for cuts and for other types of skin problems. However, this should in no way be ingested by dogs because it contains anthraquinone glycosides, an ingredient that exhibits purgative effects. When this is taken in by dogs, they will experience diarrhoea and vomiting. In some reports, dogs also showed symptoms of urine colour change, anorexia, tremors and depression.

  • Teri July 31, 2014, 4:37 am


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