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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

Spring into safety with your pet!


Human aren't the only ones who get spring fever. Your dog, who may have only went outside to take care of business the past several months, is anxious to get out there to dig holes and go on long walks with you. If your cats go outside, they too are ready to soak up some of the sun's rays outdoors and not just be content to sunbathe inside. As much as you share in your pets' enthusiasm, it's important to remember that spring brings many new possibilities for pet poisoning.

Don't Let Your Pet Chew on Plants or Flowers

The shape and bright color of many backyard flowers makes many pets want to taste them. According to the Pet Poison Hotline, it's especially important to supervise your animals around these flowers:

  • Spring Crocus: Not to be confused with Autumn Crocus that is extremely toxic to pets, the Spring Crocus can also cause a lot of damage. This plant causes vomiting and diarrhea when ingested.
  • Daffodils: This flower contains lycorine, an ingredient that causes severe gastrointestinal distress as well as cardiac and respiratory problems.
  • Lilies, especially the Asiatic, Easter, Day, Japanese, and Tiger varieties, are extremely toxic for cats. Consuming as few as two leaves can result in severe kidney failure.
  • Lily of the Valley: Ingestion of this plant may cause cardiac distress, gastrointestinal issues, and even seizures.
  • Tulips: Dogs who dig up this plant may experience tissue irritation in the esophagus and mouth, resulting in excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Fertilizers and Other Outdoor Dangers

When you have a garden full of plants and flowers, you're sure to have a few bottles of fertilizer as well. Blood meal, iron, and rose and plant fertilizers are especially dangerous to curious pets. It's best to keep your dog or cat indoors when you plan to spend time gardening. You should also keep pesticides and insecticides out of the path of your pet. Lastly, make sure that gasoline for the lawnmower is not in a spot where your dog or cat may confuse it for water.