Who Knew? Plants that are Toxic to Pets….

By Gardennia nutii

Many Random Acts readers are familiar with Ann’s adorable golden retriever Barney (hands down one of the cutest dogs ever). But I’m happy to announce that we’ll soon have another dog in our Blog family – Archer. I have three weeks until I get to pick him up and am now busy buying all necessary pet accoutrements. One thing I decided to do in this preparation process was look to see if I have any toxic plants in my house and yard. I almost wish I hadn’t started to look into this…because many of my favorites turn out to be deadly when ingested.

The most comprehensive list of toxic plants I’ve found is from the ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/. The list is VERY comprehensive; it lists 392 plants that are toxic to dogs – many of which surprised me. Another good source is Wikipedia. This site lists foods that are toxic as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_poisonous_plants.

I’ve decided to have a balanced approach to this task and focus on the “worst” plants…and those that I just don’t like any more and finally have an excuse to dig up and throw on the compost heap. (A covered compost heap now thanks to Archer).

Here is a link to the 17 of the most common poisonous plants: www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/17-common-poisonous-plants.html. This list includes lilies (I get a pass on this because they are mostly toxic to cats), sago palm, tulip/narcissus bulbs, azalea/rhododendron, oleander, castor bean, cyclamen, kalanchoe, yew, amaryllis, autumn crocus, chrysanthemum, english ivy (this is finally the excuse I need to get that final small patch removed), peace lily, pothos and schefflera.

My work is cut out for me, but it’ll all be worth it as part of keeping Archer safe. And besides…just think of all the new plants I get to buy!

Do you have tips and tricks for gardening for your pet? Let us know!