Sellers often consider landscaping to add “that little bit extra” appeal to their home prior to selling it or homeowners often look to new landscaping to add more greenery to their scenery. As pet owners, we must be aware of which popular plants, flowers and trees are toxic to our pets. Some of the more popular options for landscaping due to their weather hardiness (as we live in a drought prone area) are toxic plants that if ingested by our pets could end very badly. Here is a condensed list of popular plants that have toxic results for our pets:
Aloe Vera. This low maintenance, drought resistance houseplant has healing qualities for us humans, however has some poisonous qualities if ingested by our furbabies. Its toxic chemical composition can cause vomiting, diarrhea depression, anorexia (yes, anorexia).
Amaryllis & Lilies. Beautiful blooms of doom. These pretty flowers pose a toxic risk to our pets. The Amaryllis produces toxins that will cause excessive drooling, vomiting, a reduction in blood pressure, abdominal pain and trouble breathing. Lilies are especially toxic to cats, with the possibility of one nibble causing severe kidney damage or even death if ingested by your kitty.
Begonias. A popular choice in the South Texas landscaping scene due to their colorful annual blooms, this plant is poisonous to both dogs and cats. It can cause oral irritation and burning of the mouth, excessive drool, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. The tuberous begonias are the most toxic.
Caladiums. Also known as “elephant ears” the caladium is a common decorative and sun tolerant plant, offering colorful, heart shaped leaves for our visual stimulation. What does this plant offer to our furbabies? Calcium oxalate. A chemical compound that can produce sores, burning and swelling of the mouth and throat causing difficulty in breathing, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. All around bad news for pets.
Texas Mountain Laurel & Mescal Beans. Beautifully fragrant and a native Texas plant, we San Antonions love Mountain Laurel for its purple grape-scented blooms. What is not so attractive is that if our pets ingest the extremely toxic red mescal beans found in the silvery pods of these trees they can experience convulsions, nausea, depressed breathing and even death in extreme cases.
Sago Palms. These poky faux-palms are common landscaping features in the San Antonio area as they are very drought tolerant, however pet owners beware – as every part of this plant is poisonous with the seeds posing the biggest threat. The seeds contain the greatest concentration of cycasin, a toxic chemical that can cause our furry loved one to vomit, produce bloody stools, increased urination as well as the more serious neurological symptoms like seizures, comas, circling, paralysis and even death.
More information on poisonous plants can be found anywhere on the web or on you can refer to these websites for more extensive lists of what is toxic to your pet:
Ultimately, if you are concerned that your pet may have ingested a poisonous plant, please contact your vet immediately.