Tips on sharing a home with pets and plants

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(NAPS)—Plants can be a beautiful way to spruce up your home and garden, but if you share your home with a dog or cat, you’ll want to choose your plants carefully. The leaves, seeds, berries and bulbs of some common plants can be poisonous to pets.

Many flowers, such as hya­cinth, oleander and hydrangea, can cause stomach irritation when ingested by your cat or dog. Wisteria, lily of the valley, morning glory and narcissus are other common plants that have parts that could be poisonous such as seeds, pods, roots, bulbs and flowers, and therefore should be avoided when landscaping your yard.

Vegetable and fruit gardens should also be treated with caution. The leaves of rhubarb, shoots of potatoes and seeds of apples can be extremely poisonous to dogs and cats. Instead, try planting beets, honeydew melon or zucchini squash, none of which will pose a threat to your precious pets.

If you’d like to bring your garden inside, tuberous plants are great to include in any fresh-cut arrangement. While some members of the tuberous family are completely poisonous, such as iris and lilies, others can be safe when handled intelligently. As long as their bulbs are discarded, tulips, daffodils and buttercups are a beautiful and safe way to bring nature indoors.

In the spring, be sure not to plant azaleas, primroses or geraniums, which are entirely poisonous to dogs and cats. Consider planting impatiens, sunflowers or petunias instead, as they are all safe and will add color and beauty to your outdoor space.

Floral decorations are not solely relegated to springtime, however. The winter holidays are a popular time to celebrate with seasonal plants, so be mindful as you decorate. Cats and dogs should stay away from holly and mistletoe—both of which contain poisonous berries—and English ivy and poinsettia plants, whose leaves, flowers and stems are toxic.

Watch what you plant! Cats can become sick if they eat azalea, mistletoe or iris.


Cats can become sick if they eat azalea, mistletoe or iris plants.