Posts Tagged ‘toxic plants’

Houseplant collections are trending, and pet owners want to add a touch of the outdoors to their interior design. Which plants are considered safe to share space with pets? Renee DiPietro, CVT, has the scoop.

Tip: Portions of the text in italics refer to plants that are not safe for pets — read carefully and research thoroughly before introducing a plant into the household.

Pet Safe Plants: Flora and Fauna Can Coexist!

By Renee DiPietro, CVT, Permitted Wildlife Rehabilitation, Plant Lover
Veterinary Information Specialist

Pet owners worry about keeping houseplants in their homes due to the toxic potential of many plant species. As animal lovers, many of us are drawn to the natural world and to plant life specifically for the many benefits to our home environment that plants can provide. The presence of live greenery in our homes can reduce stress, literally help to clean the air, and provide beauty. All of these attributes can contribute to happiness and quality of life. It is true that many plants do have toxic potential and that it is dangerous to keep them in homes with cats, dogs, birds, or really any pet that has any free range capability around the house. This being said there is also a decent number of plants that can co-inhabit your home without any danger to your animal companions.

Spider Plants:
The spider plant is a common house hold plant that is extremely easy to care for and comes in a few interesting varieties including variegated and curly. These super hardy house plants can grow quite large with minimal care but can also be contained by the size of the pot they are grown in. They are suitable as both hanging and table top plants. They do fine in low light applications or with a little sun. Cats enjoy nibbling on and sometimes outright eating spider plants, so for the plant’s safety, if you have cats you may want to employee the hanging application for keeping this member of the indoor flora family.

True Palms:
There are many varieties of palms that can be safely kept with pets. Some of these varieties include Pony tail, Parlor and Areca palms. If seeking to keep palms in your home, it is essential to make sure that they are the indoor variety and that you avoid anything with the words Sago or Cycad. They Sago palm is a cycad, not a true palm and it is extremely toxic to pets. This plant is meant for outdoor applications, but when purchasing palms for your home it is very important to make sure you are not getting a cycad. True palms do not require much light and with a little investigation into their care can be an easy flora addition to your home.

African Violets: These squat fuzzy little beauties brighten up a home not only with their beautiful dark green leaves but also with their bright flowers that come in many colors and also in single or double formation. African violets pose no risk for toxicity to pets. They are a little more temperamental than some house plants. They like to have their feet wet but their heads dry and to have just the right amount of bright sunlight. With a little research and experimentation you can keep these diminutive cuties happy. They are often grown in small clay pots that are easily knocked over by cats. I use heavier pots or put stones in the bottom of pots to keep them weighted down.

Bamboo: This versatile plant can have many fun applications in your home. It can grow happily in soil or even just in water in decorative vases or fish tanks. Lucky or Curly Bamboo is a popular variety and can be grown woven into intricate designs.

Boston Fern: This beautiful cascading plant can be kept both as a hanging plant or on a table top. It can grow quite large if well cared for. These plants are a challenge to keep, as being naturally a forest plant they require moist soil and higher humidity than is found in many homes. Hats off to those of you who can keep a Boston Fern happy year round. I have yet to achieve this goal but they are such a splendid plant that I intend to keep trying.

Cast Iron Plant: This is not a plant I have ever had the pleasure to keep. Though a member of the lily family, this plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs. The beautiful dark green leaves add a tropical element to the home and this plant is also suitable for outdoor planting in warmer climates. Small purple flowers that can appear at the plant’s base are a hidden gem. This plant is very easy to care for and even tolerant of neglect.

Bromeliads: Speaking of tropical flare, Bromeliads are brightly colored and relatively easy to care for if you pay attention to their needs. Many of them are epiphytes, meaning that they don’t grow in soil but rather attached to a substrate and actually extract water and nutrients from the air. These are very interesting, beautiful, non-toxic house plants and well worth a try.

Christmas Cactus: Another fun and colorful plant, I love Christmas Cactuses and have a few of them. Given their name for their habit of blooming prolifically in early winter they are easy to care for, non-toxic, and when blooming show off cascades of red/orange, violet, pink or white flowers. They can grow quite large but will also live happily with tight roots in a smaller pot. Even though this plant is considered to be non-toxic to pets, ingestion can cause mild GI distress (vomiting, diarrhea). While no systemic toxicity is expected, who wants an upset tummy? Or to have to clean up after an upset tummy? Depending on how sensitive your pet’s GI tract is, some cases of GI distress could require veterinary treatment. If you think your pet is inclined to chew on your Christmas Cacti, it would be best to keep these plants out of reach.

Phaleaenopsis Orchid: Also called the Moth Orchid, this drop dead gorgeous flowering plant is one of my very favorites and several grace my kitchen counters, coffee table and office window sill. They are easy to care for if their bright light and careful watering requirements are provided. They bloom reliably with large cascades of flowers and their blooms can last for months before dropping from the plant. This plant does require some fertilization with orchid specific products. I recommend removing the plant from your cat’s or dog’s reach for a day or two after fertilization to avoid your pet licking the fertilizer. Like the Bromeliad, this plant is an epiphyte and not grown in soil but rather a substrate such as bark.

Succulents: Succulents are all the rage these days for both home and commercial plantings. Some varieties such as Haworthia, Peporomia and Burrow’s tail are non-toxic to pets, but others such as Kalanchoe can be very toxic. If you plan to keep succulents with your pets, I recommend thorough research and identification of the varieties you want to keep before bringing them into your home.

Swedish Ivy: This is a beautiful green cascading plant with lovely round, softly serrated leaves and small bluish-purple flowers. Non-toxic to pets and easy to care for, it makes an ideal house plant. It likes bright indirect light and loamy soil. Make sure you are buying a Swedish Ivy, not another type of Ivy such as Devil’s Ivy (Pothos) which is toxic to pets.

Lipstick Plant: This colorful flowering plant is interesting and easy to care for. Bright red flowers that bloom in winter brighten up cold grey days. It likes short periods of bright light, well aerated soil, and a little boost in humidity to honor its tropical origins.

So, have your fauna and your flora too! A home with pets and plants is a pleasure for many people. There are other non-toxic plant varieties beyond this basic list. Do your research on toxic potential for pets before bringing any new plant into your home. If you have existing plants that your pets have never bothered it is a good idea to go through them, see what you have and ensure they are all non-toxic even if your pets have never touched them. It only takes one toxic exposure to have sick pet. Also take a little time to research the plant’s care requirements to ensure you can keep your new plant friend happy and healthy too. Most of all, enjoy all the wonderful moments that both your pets and your plants bring you.

This article was published by the Pet Poison Helpline and is posted here by permission.

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According to the calendar, December 21st is the first day of winter.  According to my frozen fingers, winter is here.  Norfolk, Virginia is expected to experience some seriously cold weather, beginning this week. Do a favor for your dogs and cats, and bring them in at night.

Bonus: How cold is too cold for your pet?
Check out this chart from Petplan!

Dr. Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends following these tips from Purina to keep your pets safe in cold weather.

Winter Pet Care Tips from Purina  

Winter and the busy holiday can pose special risks for pets.  Help your pet to weather the winter and stay healthy and safe by following these simple tips.

  • Keep indoor pets in a dry, warm area free of drafts.  If possible, elevate your pet’s bed off the floor.
  • Bring pets inside when temperatures dip into the 50s or even the low 60s.  Otherwise, in warmer temperatures, provide outdoor pets a dry, insulated shelter out of the wind.
  • Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops.  Talk to your veterinarian for advice on feeding your pet.
  • Cats and kittens often nap on car engines for warmth.  Knock on the hood and honk the horn; then wait a few minutes before starting your car.
  • Pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze, but even a very small amount can kill them.  Thoroughly clean up spills at once.  Tightly close containers and store them where pets cannot get to them.
  • Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet.
  • Alcoholic beverages, holiday treats such as chocolates, and bones from poultry, pork and fish can be harmful or toxic to pets.  Keep your pet on his regular diet.
  • Many plants – including Christmas rose, holly, mistletoe, philodendron, poinsettia, and dieffenbachia – are toxic to pets.  Keep them out of your pet’s reach.
  • Remove ice, salt and caked mud from your pet’s paws and coat at once.  Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite.  Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white or gray, and it may be scaly or sloughing.
  • Holiday paraphernalia can be dangerous to pets.  Cover or tack down electrical cords.  Keep tinsel and glass ornaments out of your pet’s reach.  Read warnings on items like spray-on snow.  Never put ribbons around your pet’s neck or allow it to play with plastic or foil wrappings or six-pack beverage holders.

Original post here.

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http://clipart.christiansunite.com

WINTER PET CARE TIPS FROM PURINA

Winter and the busy holiday season can pose special risks for pets.  Help your pet to weather the winter and stay healthy and safe by following these simple tips.

  • Keep indoor pets in a dry, warm area free of drafts.  If possible, elevate your pet’s bed off the floor.
  • Bring pets inside when temperatures dip into the 50s or even the low 60s.  Otherwise, in warmer temperatures, provide outdoor pets a dry, insulated shelter out of the wind.
  • Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops.  Talk to your veterinarian for advice on feeding your pet.
  • Cats and kittens often nap on car engines for warmth.  Knock on the hood and honk the horn; then wait a few minutes before starting your car.
  • Pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze, but even a very small amount can kill them.  Thoroughly clean up spills at once.  Tightly close containers and store them where pets cannot get to them.
  • Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet.
  • Alcoholic beverages, holiday treats such as chocolates, and bones from poultry, pork and fish can be harmful or toxic to pets.  Keep your pet on his regular diet.
  • Many plants – including Christmas rose, holly, mistletoe, philodendron, poinsettia, and dieffenbachia – are toxic to pets.  Keep them out of your pet’s reach.
  • Remove ice, salt and caked mud from your pet’s paws and coat at once.  Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite.  Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white or gray, and it may be scaly or sloughing.
  • Holiday paraphernalia can be dangerous to pets.  Cover or tack down electrical cords.  Keep tinsel and glass ornaments out of your pet’s reach.  Read warnings on items like spray-on snow.  Never put ribbons around your pet’s neck or allow it to play with plastic or foil wrappings or six-pack beverage holders.

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Originally posted on December 15, 2010.
Clipart from Christians Unite.

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Whether you’re decking the halls or going into hibernation mode, there are things you can do to protect your pet from holiday hazards.

Make your home safe for live-in and visiting pets with these tips from Dr. Gail C. Golab.

Frostbite and snow-removal salt:

Snow and salt should be removed from your pet’s paws immediately. 

Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough (peel off.)

Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed.

Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care.

Snow removal products should be stored out of the reach of pets and small children, as the products’ toxicity varies considerably.

Toxic plants and holiday/winter products:

     Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be toxic to your pets.  What follows is a general guide.  Please consult your veterinarian, animal poison control, and the manufacturer for specifics.  Remember, the earlier you seek treatment, the better for your pet!

Plants:

poinsettia leaves and stems

balsam

pine

cedar

fir

holly berries and leaves

mistletoe, especially berries

 

Decorations/chemicals/other:

angel hair (spun glass)

Christmas tree preservatives

snow sprays, snow flock

tree ornaments

super glue

styrofoam

icicles

tinsel

crayons, paints

fireplace colors/salts

plastic model cement

bubbling lights (contain methylene chloride)

snow scenes (may contain salmonella)

aftershave, perfume

alcoholic beverages

chocolate

epoxy adhesives

antifreeze

Some of the above items are notable not just for their toxicity, but also for the danger they pose of intestinal blockage or severe irritation to the skin and mucous membranes. 

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Just in – ASPCA Animal Poison Control magnets.

ASPCA magnet

Place this reminder on your refrigerator, so you and your holiday guests will know which foods are harmful to your pets. Get one on your next visit to our clinic!

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Keep these numbers handy for emergencies –

Blue Pearl Emergency in Virginia Beach 757-499-5463

Pet Poison Helpline  1-800-213-6680

ASPCA Animal Poison Control  1-888-426-4435

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This post was originally published on December 9, 2011.

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     Spring Garden Safety for Pets

     Click the link above to learn how to protect your pets outdoors this Spring.

     Create a garden that’s both beautiful and safe for your pets. Learn how with these tips from Veterinary Pet Insurance.

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     According to the calendar, December 22nd is the first day of winter.  According to my frozen fingers, winter is here.  Do your dogs and cats a favor, and bring them in at night.

  Winter Pet Care Tips from Purina  

     Winter and the busy holiday can pose special risks for pets.  Help your pet to weather the winter and stay healthy and safe by following these simple tips.

  • Keep indoor pets in a dry, warm area free of drafts.  If possible, elevate your pet’s bed off the floor.
  • Bring pets inside when temperatures dip into the 50s or even the low 60s.  Otherwise, in warmer temperatures, provide outdoor pets a dry, insulated shelter out of the wind.
  • Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops.  Talk to your veterinarian for advice on feeding your pet.
  • Cats and kittens often nap on car engines for warmth.  Knock on the hood and honk the horn; then wait a few minutes before starting your car.
  • Pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze, but even a very small amount can kill them.  Thoroughly clean up spills at once.  Tightly close containers and store them where pets cannot get to them.
  • Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet.
  • Alcoholic beverages, holiday treats such as chocolates, and bones from poultry, pork and fish can be harmful or toxic to pets.  Keep your pet on his regular diet.
  • Many plants – including Christmas rose, holly, mistletoe, philodendron, poinsettia, and dieffenbachia – are toxic to pets.  Keep them out of your pet’s reach.
  • Remove ice, salt and caked mud from your pet’s paws and coat at once.  Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite.  Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white or gray, and it may be scaly or sloughing.
  • Holiday paraphernalia can be dangerous to pets.  Cover or tack down electrical cords.  Keep tinsel and glass ornaments out of your pet’s reach.  Read warnings on items like spray-on snow.  Never put ribbons around your pet’s neck or allow it to play with plastic or foil wrappings or six-pack beverage holders.

Original post.

 

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Winter Pet Care Tips from Purina

Winter and the busy holiday can pose special risks for pets.  Help your pet to weather the winter and stay healthy and safe by following these simple tips.

  • Keep indoor pets in a dry, warm area free of drafts.  If possible, elevate your pet’s bed off the floor.
  • Bring pets inside when temperatures dip into the 50s or even the low 60s.  Otherwise, in warmer temperatures, provide outdoor pets a dry, insulated shelter out of the wind.
  • Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops.  Talk to your veterinarian for advice on feeding your pet.
  • Cats and kittens often nap on car engines for warmth.  Knock on the hood and honk the horn; then wait a few minutes before starting your car.
  • Pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze, but even a very small amount can kill them.  Thoroughly clean up spills at once.  Tightly close containers and store them where pets cannot get to them.
  • Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet.
  • Alcoholic beverages, holiday treats such as chocolates, and bones from poultry, pork and fish can be harmful or toxic to pets.  Keep your pet on his regular diet.
  • Many plants – including Christmas rose, holly, mistletoe, philodendron, poinsettia, and dieffenbachia – are toxic to pets.  Keep them out of your pet’s reach.
  • Remove ice, salt and caked mud from your pet’s paws and coat at once.  Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite.  Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white or gray, and it may be scaly or sloughing.
  • Holiday paraphernalia can be dangerous to pets.  Cover or tack down electrical cords.  Keep tinsel and glass ornaments out of your pet’s reach.  Read warnings on items like spray-on snow.  Never put ribbons around your pet’s neck or allow it to play with plastic or foil wrappings or six-pack beverage holders.

Read Full Post »