Beware the plant and garden hazards for your pets

daffodils can be toxic to pets

With spring now here, we wanted to give you some information of the dangers for your pets that may be growing or lurking in your garden.


Daffodils can be toxic to pets, particularly the bulb, although the flower head can also cause problems. Symptoms include drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, abdominal pain, abnormal breathing and an irregular heart beat. In severe cases this may result in dehydration, tremors and convulsions.


All parts of bluebells are poisonous to dogs. If ingested they can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort. There is also a risk of the heart beating irregularly if a significant amount is eaten.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley flowers and leaves contain a toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, heart problems, seizures and collapsing in dogs, cats and rabbits.


Azaleas are toxic to dogs, cats and horses. Even though they rarely tend to eat them, even a small amount can cause symptoms. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness. They may salivate excessively, loose their appetite, have difficulty walking and appear lethargic. In the most severe cases the pet can go into a coma and die.


Lilies are extremely toxic to pets, especially cats. They can be poisoned by eating or chewing the leaves, stems or flower heads, and even the pollen can be harmful if a pet licks this off their fur after contact. It can cause a variety of complications from intestinal upset to organ failure and can be fatal if not treated immediately.


Dogs who eat ivy commonly develop drooling, vomiting or diarrhoea. In the most severe cases you may also see blood in the vomit or faeces. Contact with ivy can cause skin reactions, conjunctivitis, itchiness and skin rashes.

Long grass

Cats who have a habit of eating long grass or decorative grasses run the risk of getting blades stuck in their noses and throat. This can cause breathing problems, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge and can affect appetite.

Slug and snail pellets

Slug and snail pellets contain a toxic compound called Metaldehyde. Only a small amount is needed to cause significant poisoning. If eaten it can cause muscle tremors, lack of co-ordination, seizures, high temperatures, organ failure and can be fatal.


Finally, we hope you don’t have many of these in your garden but some might. A sleepy Adder in the spring could bite your inquisitive pet. Most commonly pets are bitten on the face or forelimbs. You may see swelling at the site with two puncture wounds, other symptoms may include bruising and pain. 3-4% may have severe effects such as breathing problems, collapse, fitting, liver & kidney damage as well as maybe requiring a skin graft at the bite site.

If your pet is bitten by an adder, immobilise them and get them to a vet as soon as possible especially if bitten around face/neck. 96-97% of pets will recover fully.

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