URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois Extension reminds pet owners to exercise caution when bringing plants indoors for the winter.
Some plants can make animals sick if they eat or interact with them, so make sure you know what plants you have around to keep your pets safe.
Plants have natural barriers, both physical (fine hairs on okra, pickles on cucumbers, thorns on roses, spines on cacti, etc.) and chemical (bitterness, toxicity that can cause irritation or illness), meant to protect them from pests. Some plants may be hazardous for humans but fine for animals. Conversely, some plants, like aloe, may positively affect humans while negatively affecting pets.
U of I Extension shared some ways to limit exposure to risky plants to keep both your plants and pets safe:
- Label plants and indicate ones that are unsafe.
- Keep non-pet-friendly plants in a room out of reach and/or hang them out of reach.
- Place plant debris and clippings into an outdoor garbage bin, or one away from pets.
- Use metal cages or terrariums if you cannot keep plants in another room.
They also shared the following list from University of Nebraska Extension, which covers plants that are poisonous to pets:
Amaryllis, Andromeda, apple seeds, apricot, arrowgrass, avocado, bittersweet, boxwood, buttercup, caladium, castor beans, cherry pits, chokecherry, crown of thorns, daffodil, daphne. delphinium, dieffenbachia, elephant ear, English ivy, elderberry, foxglove, glory lily, hemlock, hemp, holly, hyacinth, hydrangea, iris, jasmine, Jimson weed, Kalanchoe species, laburnum, larkspur, laurel, locoweed, marigold, mistletoe, monkshood, mushrooms, narcissus, nightshade, oleander, peach, philodendron, Poinsettia, poison ivy, privet, rhododendron, rhubarb, stinging nettle, tobacco, tulip, walnut, wisteria, and yew.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also has a list of poisonous plant species for dogs, cats, and horses.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet does consume a plant. You can download a Plant and Pet Safety infosheet or connect with your local Illinois Extension county office for more information.