The nation’s pet owners are being warned about the hidden dangers of common plants and flowers that may deal fatal blows to furry companions.
The garden experts at BillyOh.com have warned that whilst flowers such as lilies, tulips and azaleas may look pretty, they are potentially deadly to cats, dogs and even horses.
Even tomatoes and potatoes can be dangerous if your furry friends eat them when green and unripe, though it is mainly the toxic leaves that can harm cats and dogs.
The common foxtail weed is largely impossible to avoid, but pet owners can check their animals regularly and uproot it if it should appear in the garden.
A spokesperson for BillyOh.com said: “Flowers can look gorgeous and smell even better, but many can be very dangerous to a beloved cat or dog.
“So, when you’re deciding which plants to put in your garden, or even a pot in the house, do check first to make sure it isn’t toxic to your pets.
“If your pet shows any sign of having ingested poison, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness or confusion, seek veterinary assistance straight away.”
A type of rhododendron, azaleas contain a poisonous substance called grayanotoxin, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and even blindness and comas in cats and dogs.
Foxtails are spikelets that carry the seeds of the foxtail grass. They are barbed and meant to burrow into the ground to germinate – but this also means they could penetrate an animal’s body instead and damage internal organs. The ears are especially vulnerable.
It’s pretty much impossible to avoid this common weed, but you can check your pet’s body (especially entry points like the ears, mouth and eyes) frequently, especially after a walk, and uproot – not mow – any foxtails you see in the garden.
Every part of a lily is toxic to cats (even one leaf or petal can make them very ill) and some kinds are poisonous to dogs as well. They are even toxic to horses.