Keeping Pets Safe This Autumn
PDSA offers advice on how to avoid toxic plants
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, so it’s vital to know what to avoid.
“Our four-legged friends are naturally very inquisitive and will often want to sniff out new smells and objects”, says PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan.
“Knowing what to keep your pet away from can help 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 in large quantities by pets, as their tannic acid affects the liver and kidneys. Unripe, green acorns are 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 in the habit of being a bit of a scavenger, you might need to take extra precautions like training them to use a basket muzzle while you’re out and about to prevent them picking up anything dangerous.”
“Vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking and breathing problems could all be signs that your pet might have eaten something poisonous,” adds Olivia. “But even if your pet’s not showing any signs, if you know they’ve eaten something they shouldn’t, call the vet straight away. Your vet will be happy to provide guidance on whether it’s likely to be dangerous for your pet and advise what you should do. The quicker you act, the quicker vets can provide essential treatment when it’s needed, which can reduce or prevent longer-term problems for your pet.”
For more information on keeping your pet safe this autumn, visit: www.pdsa.org.uk/poisons-and-hazards.