Purr-esident’s Press August

Purr-esident’s Press August

For the August edition of Purr-esidents Press, we are going to talk about Dangerous plants to dogs in our yards.  Sometimes it feels like everything is out to get your pet, from rattlesnakes, Sonoran desert toads, and Scorpions! One thing we do not pay much attention to are the plants in our yards, green belts, parks, etc. These plants can be deadly to our dogs if ingested, and they are practically everywhere! 

Since dogs aren’t exactly smart about what they should and shouldn’t eat, we have to be vigilant about what we are exposing them to and take care to avoid exposure to toxic plants. I know mine try to eat everything new that they see and they’re not puppies! 

Signs of poisoning in dogs can be hard to spot as some plants might cause vomiting, drooling, or diarrhea, where others can cause more serious effects, such as shutting down the kidneys, liver, or heart. 

So how do we protect our dogs? 

  • We have to be proactive, check our yards and parks for toxic plants to stop exposure before it occurs. 
  • Do not leave pets out unsupervised for long periods of time. Dogs tend to chew and dig when bored or in need of exercise. 
  • When trimming plants, make sure you clean away all clippings before allowing your dog back into your yard. 

Common Poisonous Plants in Arizona: 

  • Azalea
  • Castor Bean
  • Century Plant
  • Chinaberry Tree
  • Cyclamen
  • Jimson Weed
  • Some species of lilies
  • Mexican Bird of Paradise
  • Oleander
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Daffodils
  • Lantana
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Sago Palm
  • Tuplis and Hyacinths

Out of the poisonous plants in Arizona, many veterinarians say that oleander is the most common plant that dogs encounter. With Oleander, all parts of the plant are toxic and oleander is practically everywhere you look because they grow really well here, they make a great privacy barrier, and people feel they are pretty to look at. Even if you don’t have them in your yard, they can end up there because of high winds and landscapers blowing around the blooms that have fallen off the plants. 

Another poisonous plant gaining popularity in landscaping is the Sago Palm. Potential exposures to this plant should be taken seriously, as ingestion of even one or two seeds could be lethal!

If you have pets, you should have a first aid kit at home, but consulting with a veterinarian or poison helpline would be your first point of contact to determine if the plant ingested was poisonous to begin with, what the true antidote is and if inducing vomiting is warranted. 

The following hotlines run 24 hours a day but be aware these might have a charge for the service provided:

Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center – 1800-222-1222

National Animal Poison Control Center – 1888-426-4435

Pet Poison Helpline – 1800-213-6680 

Be vigilant and let’s help our pets live long, healthy lives.

–Crystal B.

Treasurer |AZ Center for Animal Rescue & Education |AZ CARE

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