Harmful blooms to look out for on your autumn stroll
As the leaves turn golden and the air becomes crisp, it’s the perfect time for a stroll with our pooches. But among picturesque autumnal scenes, there are plants that can be harmful to our furry friends.
PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “Many of us look forward to long walks admiring the gorgeous colours of the environment as the seasons change, but it’s important to be aware of the dangers some autumn blooms can pose for our pets. Luckily, by understanding which plants to look out for, we can help them keep safe while enjoying the best of the season.
“Seeing conkers and acorns on the ground is a sure sign that autumn is upon us, but they can be dangerous for our pets if they are swallowed. Not only can they cause serious, and sometimes fatal, intestinal blockages, but they contain toxins which can put our pets at serious risk.
“When out on woodland walks, fungi are a regular sight, but while many varieties are harmless to pets, some can be dangerous if eaten. Fungal spores can also irritate eyes and sensitive skin, so it’s therefore best for pets to steer clear of overgrown forest floors and stick to paths, avoiding undergrowth.
“It’s also important to be wary of berries. Although some, such as blackberries, are harmless, there are many that, although a staple food for birds, can be harmful if eaten by humans and four-legged friends alike, so it’s best to avoid them altogether if you see them when out and about.
“If your pet enjoys spending time outdoors, be sure to check your garden to see what plants you have growing and, before planting anything new, speak to your local garden centre for advice on pet-safe blooms.
“Amaryllis, Chrysanthemums, and Hydrangeas are some examples of common flowers found in avid gardeners’ outdoor spaces, but they can be toxic for dogs and cats if eaten.
“If you do have any toxic plants growing, take measures to avoid your pet coming to any harm. Ideally remove the plants altogether but if this is not an option, barriers around the area will help avoid furry family members coming into contact with them.
“Whilst out on a walk, always be mindful of your pet’s whereabouts and, while it can sometimes be easier said than done, discourage them from eating plants which could potentially cause harm. Downloading an app on your phone to help you identify plants is another way to check on any you are unsure of.
Signs of poisoning
“Signs of poisoning vary depending on what and how much they’ve eaten, but vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, confusion, lethargy, or collapse are all possible signs that your pet may have consumed something dangerous.
“It’s important to seek vet treatment straight away if you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have. Symptoms of poisoning can show straight away or not until days after but don’t wait for signs to develop, this could have fatal consequences for your pet. If possible, take some of the offending item with you to the vet so they can determine the best form of treatment.”
PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity providing a vital service for pets across the UK whose owners struggle to afford treatment costs for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, PDSA is there to help when there is nowhere else for their owners to turn. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk