Most pet owners are aware that they need to keep chocolate away from their pooches, but did you know that dozen of house plants, flowers and shrubs can also be toxic to animals?
Of course, some varieties are more fatal than others, but it's a good idea to keep anything unsafe in a spot where your pet won't be able to reach it — or just throw them out all together.
According to the American Kennel Club, popular flowers like chrysanthemum, geraniums, irises and tulips are all unsafe for dogs, but they should only experience mild symptoms like lethargy, vomiting and loss of appetite.
On the other hand, daffodils, lilies and foxgloves can be fatal and may result in cardiac problems, decreased heart rate and breathing issues. In particular, daylilies can cause death in cats. It should also be noted that every part of the plant can be toxic, especially the bulbs.
Toxic shrubs include varieties of holly, hydrangeas and ivy. These plants don't cause many gastrointestinal problems, but instead, are more likely to cause symptoms like drooling, a swollen mouth, tremors and weakness.
ASPCA has produced a lengthy list of toxic and non-toxic plants, which you can view here.
If you suspect that your pet may have ingested a poisonous plant, try not to panic! Your first step should be calling your vet or the AKC Vetline as soon as possible. For a fee, you can also dial the Pet Poison Helpline.
The AKC then recommends identifying the plant by taking a sample of it, snapping a photo or collecting the dog's vomit in a plastic bag.
Once you get in contact with a professional, be ready to tell them the following: the suspected plant and the time of ingestion, any symptoms the pet is showing and the pet's weight.
"Under no circumstances should you induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by the vet," AKC warns. "Specific plant poisons require specific treatments, and vomiting can make some cases worse."
The organization also noted: "Don’t fall for the myth that dogs instinctively avoid dangerous plants. While it is sometimes true of animals in the wild, dogs have no ability to distinguish between safe and unsafe plants." Better safe than sorry!