Summer is finally here—what better way to enjoy the sunshine than to go for a walk with your favourite companion? While you may enjoy the change of scenery, flowers in full bloom and all, make sure to keep your eyes on where your dog or cat may dig their paws. Certain plants, including commonly seen flowers, can make your pet ill when consumed. Here is a shortlist of flowers you may need to beware of so that your nature walk remains safe and healthy.
Daisy (chrysanthemums) – (Blooms in the summer)
If your cat or dog consumes one or two daisies, you probably won’t have to worry too much. However, if a large number of daisies are ingested, your pet may experience the following symptoms:
- Muscle spasm, or even convulsion
Sesquiterpenes is a toxin that is found in most daisies. When consumed, it may cause intestinal upset, and skin irritation when in physical contact. However, the amount of sesquiterpenes varies among different types of daisies. If you are planning to add a couple more flowers into your garden, you can include Gerbera Daisy, which is a more pet-friendly, and non-toxic choice.
Daffodil –( Blooms in the summer)
These days, daffodils are prolific for taking on a more symbolic role in cancer campaigns. With their beautiful ornamental features, they’ve also become more popular in public gardens. With 26 to 60 different species of daffodils to choose from, all can trigger mild or moderate discomfort for your cat or dog. Generally speaking, the following symptoms can occur:
- Increased heart rate
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Abnormal breathing
If your pet has ingested any amount of daffodil and exemplifies any of these or any other abnormal symptoms, we recommend contacting your local veterinarian immediately. Daffodils contain a toxin called lycorine which causes irritation when released from the bulb, plant, and flower. Inhaling lycorine can also cause discomfort including coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Peony (Blooms late spring – early summer)
Like the daffodil, peonies are popular among gardens for their full petals when bloomed. However, the effects on your pet when ingested may not be so pretty. The following symptoms may occur:
- Stomach pain
If your pet’s vomiting becomes excessive, they may become dehydrated. Paeonol is a toxin found in the peony flower, seeds, roots, bark and leaves, and is the main culprit to leaving your cat or dog in gastrointestinal distress. Luckily, if consumed in smaller amounts, your pet can recover from mild digestive issues within one or two days. However, if a larger amount is consumed and symptoms persist, we recommend seeing a doctor for additional assistance.
Hydrangea (Blooms mid-spring – well into summer)
A native to the Americas, hydrangeas are one of the most common flowers found growing in our neighbourhoods. All types of hydrangea are toxic to your cat or dog, so it’s important to keep an eye on your pet if they decide to sniff around the bushes of hydrangea. Some symptoms that may occur when consumed in large amounts:
- Increased heart rate
- Seizures or convulsion
Hydrangeas contain cyanogenic glycoside, which is commonly known as cyanide. The toxins can be released when your cat or dog chews on the buds and leaves. Fortunately, serious poisoning is rare but we advise you to consult with your local veterinarian immediately if your pet shows any of these symptoms.
The greatest take away is to keep an eye on your fellow companion because the public field is not a safe buffet. If you’re a gardener, some pet-friendly plants to look into are roses, lilac, and herbs such as rosemary and thyme. But fear not. Most flowers are not detrimental to your pet’s health unless consumed in large quantities. Having said this, walk freely, enjoy the sunshine, and all eyes on nature and your adorable pet. If you need a veterinarian or would just like to ask some questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call by contacting us HERE