Archives for April 2016

5 Spring Flowers that are Poisonous to Dogs

One of the things I love about Spring is the pop of color from all the beautiful flowers. Nothing quite represents a fresh start like the first flowers of Spring.

But some of Spring’s most beloved flowers are harmful – even fatal – to your dog. Do you know which flowers to avoid? Here are 5 Spring flowers that are poisonous to dogs. If these are growing in your garden, take precautions to protect your pets.

  1. Lilies. I love lilies but did you know that lilies are deadly to dogs, cats, and rabbits? The peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, autumn crocus, and lily of the valley are all toxic because they contain a substance called oxalic acid, which is poisonous to pets. The deadliest part of this plant is the root.
  2. Daffodils. Such a gorgeous, happy, Spring flower is the yellow Daffodil, but it’s also deadly to pets. It’s the bulb that is the most dangerous, as it contains toxic alkaloids that cause an entire array of problems, including death.
  3. Azaleas. As pretty as they are, Azaleas are deadly to dogs because they contain a substance called grayanotoxin, which can shut down a dog’s central nervous system. Scary stuff.
  4. Morning Glory. The beautiful Morning Glory contains seeds that can be highly toxic to dogs. The seeds contain a combination of poisonous chemicals that can kill your dog.
  5. Chrysanthemum. I’m told that a little bit of this flower might not affect your dog, but who wants to take the chance? These flowers contain a substance called pyrethrins, which will cause loss of balance and lack of coordination.

My best advice for avoiding a tragic situation with any of these plants is keep an eye on your dog. Don’t assume that your dog knows what is harmful to her, because she doesn’t. All she knows is what tastes good, and we all know that what tastes good isn’t always good for us.

Animal Poison Control – 888.426.4437

I advise keeping the number near the phone in your home, as well as saving it in your cell phone contacts. The center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For a more detailed list of plants that are toxic to your pet, visit the ASPCA website

Do you know of other plants that are harmful to pets? 

April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Animal cruelty is a battle that rescuers and shelter workers fight every day, year round. But because we can’t do it all on our own, April has been dubbed Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month, and we’re asking YOU to get involved.april

If you’re wondering what you can do to prevent animal cruelty, here’s a short list of ideas.

  1. Be the voice. Animals that are being abused cannot speak for themselves. They need YOU to be their advocate. Don’t be afraid to call the authorities if you suspect an animal is being abused or neglected. And don’t wait – they need your help today! Tomorrow could be too late.
  2. Support your local shelter and rescues. As I said above, shelter workers and rescues can’t do it all. They need YOUR help. There are many ways to show your support. Monetary donations, volunteering a few hours a month, and donations of food, blankets, toys, and cleaning supplies are just a few ideas of ways you can lend a hand.
  3. Be a shining example of a responsible pet owner. Make sure your pets are always up-to-date on vaccinations, spayed or neutered, and properly restrained in public. Clean up after them on walks, and don’t leave them alone in a car on a warm day. You’d be surprised what an impression you can make when you simply do the right thing.
  4. Teach your children to love animals. The best way to prevent future abuse is to make sure our children love and respect animals. Show your kids how to be loving, responsible pet owners. And if you don’t have pets, you can still educate your children to be kind-hearted and respectful to animals. Just like with other things, our kids learn so much of their behavior from us.
  5. Be thoughtful about your food choices. I’m not asking you to become a vegetarian. But we have the power to make a difference in the lives of farm animals when we choose wisely. Avoid meats, milk, and eggs from “factory farms”. Know which food manufacturers practice cruel and inhumane acts. Choose restaurants that use cruelty-free products. Yes, it takes some planning and a little research, but if you really want to help fight animal cruelty, it’s worth it.

Check out this great article for ways that you can easily identify animal cruelty.