A few weeks ago, I heard that a close family member’s dog had died. She had eaten a plant called Brunfelsia (also known as ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’) that had been growing in their back garden since she was a puppy. I had never thought about this possibility, so I’m sure there are other people out there who are just as unaware. Here are a few examples of plants that can cause serious harm to your cats and dogs.
This is not an exhaustive list, and I encourage you to talk to you vet and local plant nursery if you’re unsure of any plants your pets have been exposed to.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
With violet, lilac and white flowers all growing on the same small shrub, brunfelsia is distinctive – and highly toxic to both cats and dogs. The whole plant is poisonous, however the berries it produces after flowering as are especially dangerous. If animals consume these berries there are serious consequences, even death.
A range of bulbs are toxic to cats and dogs including onions, garlic, and spring-flowering plants like daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, jonquils and snowdrops. The effects are generally mild to moderate, but the bulbs are especially concentrated. Certain members of the liliaceae, allium and amaryllidaceae families are all dangerously toxic.
A common source of fuel, castor bean plants are commonly used in landscaping for public parks and gardens. All parts of the plant are highly toxic, even for humans. Watch out for the plant when walking your dogs!
Cyclamen, with its bright flowers and distinct leaves are popular in pots and in the ground. The whole plant is toxic to both cats and dogs, with the highest concentration located in the roots of the plant.
Lilies are highly toxic for cats and can cause acute kidney failure. Ingesting a very small part from anywhere on the plant can be fatal, even with treatment from veterinarians. Certain varieties are also highly toxic to dogs, so be sure to keep your pets well away from lilies.
Oleander is a beautiful flowering plant known to be highly toxic, not just to humans – it can also severely affect cats, dogs, and even horses. All parts of the plant are highly toxic and can cause serious problems.