Spring Has Sprung And With It Grows Dangers For Our Pets

Here in New England spring is a BIG DEAL! It means we survived the winter. In all honesty, 2016 dealt one of the most fair winters in my nearly 20 years here BUT we've had a cold wet start to spring and that is just what the plants and bugs love. We'll hit up the pests shortly but now is the time to start talking about those beautiful flowers that Fido is chewing on, because they could cause some serious problems.

Naked Lady (that got your attention) AKA Amaryllis

While an exquisitely beautiful flower, this beauty will cause a drop in blood pressure, depress breathing and terrible GI upset for Fluffy and Fido. She's pretty and powerful so be very careful.


I just missed the beautiful blooms for this picture so pardon some sad leftovers but azalea's are super common and can be pretty nasty to both our cats and dogs. I have caught several client dogs nibbling away on this seemingly excellent chew toy. According to the Pet Poison Helpline,  "these plants contain grayanotoxins which disrupt sodium channels affecting the skeletal and cardiac muscle. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous, and as little as ingestion of 0.2% of an animal’s body weight can result in poisoning. When ingested, clinical signs include gastrointestinal signs (e.g., drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, inappetance), cardiovascular (e.g., abnormal heart rate, heart arrhythmias, weakness, hypotension), and central nervous system signs (e.g., depression, tremors, transient blindness, seizures, coma, etc.). The overall prognosis is fair with treatment". I'm relieved to know that prognosis is fair with treatment but you better know that this was why your cat or dog was acting sick in order for the proper treatment to be administered.


According to the ASPCA, cyclamen can be toxic to cats, dogs and other pets. The highest concentrations of the toxin are usually found in the roots of the plant, with smaller amounts in most other parts of the plant. For this reason, the ASPCA considers the entire plant to have the potential to be toxic. Ingesting cyclamen will result in heart issues, seizures, and possibly death.


I strategically blurred this because, well like the azalea, it was on its way out!

They’re like the second sign of spring after crocuses of course. These hardy yellow or white flora have similar symptoms to their naked lady counterpart, so be careful because these are everywhere and super fun for chewing.


All varieties are toxic to our furry friends, and are known to cause tremors, stomach issues, vomiting, diarrhea and even anorexia. They are also a favored plant of many pests like beetles so often they are sprayed with insecticides, another can of toxic worms!


One year my husband and I planted over 400 tulip bulbs only to find that ½ of them got dug up by our Boxers. Thankfully none were ingested, just used more as a toy ball but this could have led to irritated mouths which would result in drooling and potential difficulty swallowing. Had my boys decided to eat them we could have faced a GI nightmare as well as increased heart rates, and difficulties breathing.

I have only cherry-picked a handful of the hundreds of toxic plants to our pets to help make us all aware that while spring has sprung from the ground, we want to keep our pets safe so they’re not the ones to be buried, just the bulbs! For more information and a pretty exhaustive list of toxic plants as well as other harmful items, checkout the Pet Poison Helpline, http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com.