Keeping Pets Safe this Autumn: How to Avoid Toxic Plants

Keeping pets safe this autumn

PDSA offers advice on how to avoid toxic plants

Temperatures are starting to drop and that fresh, crisp autumnal feel is in the air. Autumn can be a brilliant time for you and your pets, and a time to enjoy the beautiful scenery as trees change from green to an array of rustic hues.

It’s also important to be aware of the seasonal dangers to our pets; there are a number of plants which can be very toxic, and in some cases fatal, if eaten, so it’s vital to know what to avoid.

“Our four-legged friends are naturally very inquisitive and will always want to sniff out new smells and objects”, says PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan.

“Knowing what to keep your pet away from this autumn will keep them safe –and prevent any impromptu visits to the vets if they eat something that could be toxic.”

Poisonous plants to avoid:

Acorns – they are toxic if eaten by pets, as their tannic acid affects the liver and kidneys. Unripe, green acorns are even more harmful.

Yew Trees – every part of this tree is poisonous to pets and even eating a few leaves can be serious. They are often found in churchyards so keep your eyes peeled.

Horse Chestnut trees – their bark, leaves, flowers, and conkers are all poisonous to pets. Conkers themselves could also be a choking hazard.

Autumn crocuses – these have pale mauve, pink or white flowers in autumn and all parts of the plant are potentially toxic.

Olivia adds: “When out walking this autumn, it’s crucial to be aware of any dangerous plants and trees that might cause harm to your pet. Keep a close eye on them, and try to walk your pooch somewhere you know is clear of toxic plants. If you know your pet’s a prime scavenger, you might need to take extra precautions like popping on a basket muzzle on them while you’re out and about to prevent them picking up anything dangerous.”

“Vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking and breathing problems are all signs that your pet might have eaten a poisonous plant”, adds Olivia. “But even if your pet’s not showing any signs, if they’ve eaten something they shouldn’t, call the vet straight away. The quicker you act, the quicker vets can provide essential treatment.”

For more information on keeping your pet safe this autumn, visit:

About the PDSA:

PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information.

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17 thoughts on “Keeping Pets Safe this Autumn: How to Avoid Toxic Plants

  1. Léa says:

    Alas, all house plants departed shortly after Simone arrived. She will eat any plant in sight and of course here, it is felines first! As it should be.

  2. RoseyToesMeows says:

    As with Lea, we have no houseplants here since having our kitties. No flowers either, unless we’re 100% sure they’re safe.
    I do worry about the two of our seven cats who go outside. We can control the plants in our garden, but nowhere else. We have no idea what plants or chemicals go into our neighbour’s gardens and beyond.

      • RoseyToesMeows says:

        I know. We can’t keep Flash and Cookie in. We’ve tried, but they just got depressed. But when they are out, I really worry about them. Thankfully as they’re aging, they’re staying in more. xx

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