April Showers Bring May Flowers – and Toxic Plants

Two happy dogs sit on the grass in a yard

Who let the dogs out?! We’re about to! We are all anxious to spend more time outdoors as the temperature continues to climb here in Michigan! As we shift gears and trade our couches for patio chairs, there are a few things to keep in mind when we let our dogs out back to play. As we all know, April showers bring May flowers, but along with them may come some poisonous plants!

Avoid Backyard Dangers

Poisonous Plants

Dogs can be extremely vigilant in their quest for something to nibble on. When their nose is to the ground there isn’t much stopping them. The problem with that as we head outdoors is that there are many toxic plants to dogs. Therefore, having a general idea of plants that are poisonous to dogs can go a long way in preventing any serious health issues.

By recognizing the most popular harmful plants, it is easier to take steps to protect our pets from unwanted toxins and be sure they are safe around plants at all times.

Plants to avoid:

  • Tomato Plants
  • Aloe Vera
  • Ivy
  • Tulips
  • American Holly
  • Lilies
  • Daffodil
  • Oleander

For a complete list, please click on this list from the ASPCA.

Pesticides and Fertilizers

Lawn fertilizer and dogs can be an unhealthy mix. Dogs walk and run through lawns, gardens, and other chemically treated areas frequently.

That means they unknowingly absorb harmful pesticides through their skin and by licking their paws, not to mention if they stop for a nibble at something. If your dog is constantly digging around in your backyard and you have a fertilized lawn, it could lead to serious health complications if consumed.

Make sure if you use any fertilizers or pesticides on your lawn to read labels very carefully. Organic is recommended.

Organic Alternatives: Look for organic fertilizers that are EPA-certified to use on your lawn. Slow Release Meal fertilizers such as bone meal, cornmeal, cottonseed meal, and blood meal are great all-natural options for your lawn and not as harmful to your doggo. Just make sure you follow the instructions and keep your pet out of the yard until it settles. Another great fertilizer is compost! The only issue is keeping your dogs nose out of it, so be mindful of it when using it.

When you let your dogs out to run free in the backyard this spring, keep in mind the hidden dangers that lurk in the grass. Be mindful of the products you are using to enhance your yard, because it could be at the expense of your pet’s health! And nobody wants that.

What To Do If I Suspect My Dog Might Have Been Poisoned

Do not wait to see if your dog starts to display symptoms of poisoning before seeking treatment! Time is of the essence and any delay can contribute to gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, organ failure, pain, and possible death.

Call your vet immediately. If your vet is not available, call your nearest emergency vet.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is another great resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.