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Gardening while social distancing? Avoid these 4 harmful plants for your pets

If you’ve been putting off getting your garden situated for the next growing season, now’s the time. It’s a great way to get out of the house and on your feet while practicing social distancing, and while now is an especially good time because it helps reduce the spread of COVID-19, early spring is also the coolest temperatures we’ll likely see. No need to be sweating in the summer heat if you can get your garden ready now during the cooler weather!

It can be easy to go straight for the most colorful flowers, but you may want to come up with a game plan on what to plant if you have pets. Not all those colorful flowers are friendly to Fido. 

That’s right. Many popular plants and flowers can be harmful to your pets. To help make planning easier, here are a few you may want to think twice about: 


Azaleas could cause issues for your pets. | Photo Credit: Chiswick Chap 

Azaleas are a staple of Downtown and Midtown Mobile, where they currently dot most any sidewalk. However, they are poisonous to dogs, cats and horses. The ASPCA warns that even a “few leaves can cause serious problems.” Those issues can include vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, coma, hypotension, CNS depression, cardiovascular collapse and death, so be aware of how close your pets are to them on walks and try to restrict their access to them in your backyard. 


These flowers are known to cause stomach issues for pets. Photo Credit: James Brennan

These classic flowers are arguably one of the most popular in our area, and with their beautiful shades of pink, purple, blue or white blossoms, it’s no surprise. However, this plant can cause stomach issues for your dogs, cats or horses, including vomiting and diarrhea. While they do contain cyanogenic glycoside, which can cause similar affects to cyanide poisoning, it’s incredibly rare for it to happen, according to the ASPCA. But a dog with a severely upset tummy is isn’t fun for either of you, so try to keep them out of reach. 


If you have a cat, lilies are a flower to avoid. Photo Credit:  Matt H. Wade

Spring and lilies are synonymous, so it’s no surprise you’d want to add them to your garden. With Easter right around the corner, you may even have them inside in a bouquet. Keep an eye on your cats if you do. If they ingest a lily, they usually experience “decreased activity level, drooling, vomiting, and loss of appetite,” according to the Food & Drug Administration. If left untreated for 12 or more hours, these symptoms could lead to kidney failure.


Even ingesting small amounts of a daffodil can cause problems for your pet.
Photo Credit: Kham Tran

The bulbs are the most poisonous part of daffodils, so you might think twice about planting them if you have a dog who likes to dig. Ingesting small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, while ingesting large amounts can cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmias. Be sure to plant them where your pooch can’t dig them up. 

Keep yourself safe. Keep your pets safe. Enjoy gardening!

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  • Home Improvement & Decor
  • Gardening & Landscaping
  • Pet Safety
Posted on March 26, 2020