Your backyard is one of the safest places for your pup to spend their time, but it can also become deadly in the blink of an eye. Summer days with high humidity make the conditions ideal for dangerous plants and mushrooms to grow. If you are a dog owner, you know “everything goes in the mouth” especially new things they find in their personal space. Well, one mushroom or toxic plant in the mouth, when you are not looking, could become a deadly situation in a matter of hours. However, there are simple steps you can take to prevent your pet and you from dealing with the terrible effects of poisonous plants and mushrooms.
How to prevent poisonous plant ingestion
Clear ALL mushrooms in your yard.
When in doubt, take it out! Better to be safe than sorry so if you see mushrooms you are not sure about in your yard go ahead and dig them up. Be sure to pull them up by the “root “ (or mycelium) if possible, to help prevent further growth. This will not guarantee that they will not come back so keep an eye out. If you wish to keep non-harming mushrooms in your yard educate yourself on the types of mushrooms and their qualities. Learn more here: Types of toxic mushrooms
Be on the lookout for mushrooms outside of your yard too!
If mushrooms can grow in your well-manicured yard they can certainly grow along trails, sidewalks, and those hidden places your pet loves to sniff out for a potty break. Keeping an eye out while on walks, hikes and in new places (even a friend’s yard) is key to keeping your pet safe and plant poison free!
Know which plants are toxic to pets
While mushroom awareness is particularly important due to their quick appearance, easy access to pets, and difficulty to identify, they are not the only plants you should be on the lookout for. The same precautionary actions mentioned above should be taken with any poisonous plant. Here are some of the most common plants to be aware of.
To name a few… Many of these plants are commonly found in flower arrangements as well as flower gardens. If you purchase flowers or plants or are gifted an arrangement be sure to double check the contents before leaving it within reach of your fur babies. Check out a complete list of toxic and non-toxic plants here: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
Identifying a poisoned pet
While some symptoms of poisoning are very evident not all signs come on at once or right away. If you suspect your pet has ingested part or all of a poisonous plant be on the lookout for these telltale signs.
- Excessive drooling
- Weak/Uncoordinated Movements
- Strong heartbeat
If your pet exhibits any of these signs, contact your vet or poison control (800-222-1222) right away. Time is critical when getting care for poison.
Have a plan!
As a pet parent we hope to never deal with something so terrible as poison ingestion but nonetheless we must be prepared.
- Put important phone numbers in your contacts AND in a prominent place like your refrigerator for easy access. Regular vet, emergency vet and Poison Control are a few numbers to have on hand.
- Identify the plant involved and take a sample with you to your emergency location.
- Keep your pet’s medical records in a convenient location. The more information you can provide your pet’s medical professional the better they will be able to care for them.
- There is no home remedy you can offer your pet for this circumstance so get in touch with a medical professional ASAP
With so many toxic plants out there prevention can feel overwhelming, but with a few precautionary actions poisonous plant ingestion in pets is 100% preventable.
• Know what is in your yard
• Remove all dangerous plants from spaces your pet occupies
• Regularly check your pets’ spaces for new growth/potential danger
• Be familiar with the signs of a poisoned pet
• Have a plan of action
If you are having trouble identifying a plant in your yard a veterinarian or pet care professional may be able to help you. Call your vet or visit www.aspca.org for more information.
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