The prolonged winter may finally be behind us and many Iowans are starting their spring planting. Iowans who have dogs and cats that spend a lot of time outdoors may want to consider -not- planting certain flowers and plants. Tom Colvin is executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, the state’s largest animal shelter. Colvin says some common plants can be killers.
Colvin says daffodils, chrysanthemums, oleander, autumn crocus and even the green parts of the tomato plant, the leaves and stems, can be poisonous to pets. Other flowers, fruits and vegetables that could present a threat to a pet’s life include: begonias, hydrangeas, azaleas, lilies, cherries, onions and rhubarb. Colvin says another popular flower can be extremely harmful to dogs that like to dig in the dirt.
The bulb portion of tulips, if consumed by a pet, can cause severe gastro-intestinal problems. He says if your dog is a digger, you might want to fence off your tulips, or just consider another sort of plant. So how do you go about finding pet-friendly plants? Colvin says the help is free. He recommends the website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals "www.aspca.org" which has a Animal Poison Control section that specifies which parts of what plants might be hazardous for pets. Pets can have allergies, too, just like people.
If your dog’s suffering from hay fever, he may show it by constantly scratching, licking or biting his skin. A veterinarian can suggest shampoos and medications that might help.