Ode to Spring-it's hues and hazards : Tips, Tidbits, and Treats
Tina the Dog Walker
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Tips, Tidbits, and Treats-
Musings and commentary from Tina and her dog-in-chief, Romy-

Ode to Spring-it's hues and hazards

by Tina Smith on 04/16/13

I love Spring, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Growing up in Northern California, we had cherry blossoms, tulips and daffodils, but we never had the abundance of rainbow colors like we see in Oregon. While the blossoms are profoundly beautiful, they can also be dangerous, even deadly to your pets.
One of my clients has a 6 month old puppy, who has virtually decimated their backyard since they got him several months ago. Looking at the shredded daffodils and ferns reminded me of the potential hazards in their yard. I had no idea how many plants are dangerous to our furry friends until I printed a list from the ASPCA website. Eleven pages later, I realized that this is a bigger issue than just a couple of flowers. Seemingly benign plants can be more dangerous than we realize. Here's a list of some of the most dangerous plants that are commonly planted in gardens and neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest (for a complete list, go to www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/plant-list-dogs):

Azalea*, Rhododendron*, Hydrangea, Cherry (leaves and pits), Daffodil, Geranium, Holly (berries), Hyacinth, Lily (all varieties)**, Lupine, Primrose, Tomato, Tulips

*Highly Toxic: Contact your Veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital immediately if your pet ingests one of these plants!!
**Members of the Lily family are especially toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure within 72 hours. Lilies should be removed from homes with cats, or kept inaccessible.


Symptoms of Plant Poisoning include:

  • Irritation to skin and/or mouth
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting-please note that vomiting is common after a cat or dog ingests plant material. Seek veterinary care if vomiting accompanies other symptoms or if you suspect that your pet has ingested any toxic substance. Time is of the essence in treatment.

Animal Poison Control:
ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (888) 426-4435 (fee)
Pet Poison Helpline (800) 213-6680 (fee)

Thank you to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association for this information. Personally, as much as I love the look of Spring flowers, I prefer to not take the risk with Romy's life. Last Spring I cut all of our rhodies down to the ground when I saw her sniffing around them. They were beautiful, but not as much as my Romy!