We all love to share with our pets to show love and form that tight bond, at the same time we need to ensure we are not causing any harm with these special treats. It can be so hard to say no to those pleading puppy-dog and kitty eyes, but it may be the best answer for them to live a healthy and happy life with us. It can be confusing to all the different foods that are good or bad for them, so we have broken down three key factors to keep in mind with any type of food or treat and their common health effects. Sharing may not only lead to health problems so we will look into how they can affect behaviour as well. To wrap everything up we will touch on a few of the top toxic treats and safe alternatives for our furry loved ones.
Many pet parents may feel the table scraps they are feeding are not toxic to pets, so what is the problem? We need to keep in mind that just because it is not poisonous does not mean it is healthy for them. There are a lot of “safe” human foods that can have many adverse effects on our pets through considerable amounts of sugar, fat and/ or salt. Even feeding small amounts of our meals can go above their daily nutritional requirements, causing them to gain weight leading to poor overall health. Those at an optimal weight are less likely to suffer from joint, bone, and mobility issues. Pets that are overweight are at higher risk of developing many health conditions such as heart disease, breathing issues, and decreased liver function.
Sharing our breakfast like bacon or letting them have a bite of your cheeseburger are seemingly innocent gifts that may lead to dangerous health conditions and possibly an emergency vet visit. A small piece of cheese for us does not make up that much of a daily fat requirement but for a 20-pound dog it is a lot for their little body. These small bites can lead to a lot of weight gain and overtime you will notice the negative effects on the body. The added burden on our pets’ bodies can be seen as joint pain, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. Many human dishes are just too rich and fatty for a beloved pet(s) to properly digest leading to gastrointestinal issues. After a fatty treat you may see vomiting, diarrhea and this habit could lead to severe conditions like pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. It can be life threatening and may be hard to identify as symptoms are similar to many other conditions. Some symptoms they may experience are lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, reduced appetite, and hunched posture. When the pancreas is functioning normally it works with the digestive tract by releasing digestive enzymes that only become active once they are present in the small intestine, where most of digestion occurs. If the pancreas is inflamed, the enzymes can be released and activated early, leading to the digestion of the pancreas and surrounding tissues. This is extremely painful for dogs and cats as this can significantly damage the pancreas and surrounding organs in the abdomen. Without intervention it can cause internal bleeding and even death. Pancreatitis can come about for a variety of reasons, but the leading cause is a high fat diet. This may be part of their daily meals or if they suddenly consumed a large amount of fatty food in table scraps or through the garbage. The condition requires veterinary treatment and long-term management as flare ups may now occur from even the slightest trigger. Management will include a complete diet change, and possibly a change in feeding frequency and amounts as well as some physical activity and extremely limited treat options. Like many health conditions, pancreatitis is much easier and less costly to prevent than to treat and manage. The pancreas is also responsible for the production of insulin, resulting in diabetic patients being at a higher risk of pancreatitis and those with pancreatitis are more likely to get diabetes as well.
Speaking of diabetes, providing a lot of sugar to our pets over an extended period of time can cause numerous health issues. Along with diabetes, your pet may experience gastrointestinal upset, obesity, metabolic changes and in severe cases it can also lead to pancreatitis. Even semi-regular consumption can cause varying weight gain, impacting various organ systems and metabolic processes. Sugar treats are also a top cause of tooth decay and gum disease because the harmful mouth bacteria thrive off sugars. We do not want there to be confusion. Naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables are safe in moderation. They contain water and fibre that helps slow down the body’s absorption of fruit sugars like fructose preventing the dangerous spike in blood sugar levels. They also benefit from the various micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables. It is best to stay away from all forms of added sugar including products using artificial sweeteners like xylitol found in gum, candy, and some peanut butters. Xylitol is toxic to pets and can cause liver failure and seizures.
Just like humans, it is not completely certain why some pets have developed diabetes. Some pets are genetically prone but there is evidence that being overweight increases the risk of your pet developing diabetes. Excess sugar that is not needed for energy is stored as fat as the pet becomes overweight their cells become increasingly resistant to insulin, resulting in the condition. Symptoms to watch for include excessive thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss, change in appetite, sweet smelling breath, lethargy, UTIs, and loss of eyesight. There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed. This may include regular insulin shots up to twice a day, regular blood glucose testing, monitoring for changes and symptoms, and changing their diet. It is especially important for these pets to stick to a healthy low sugar diet. They also need lots of water to keep hydrated and flush the sugars sitting in the bladder. Saying no to human scraps, sugary treats, butter, oils, salt, and other seasoning is crucial. It is best to go for single ingredient, dehydrated treats if you want to offer them something special.
Everyone loves a good, seasoned fry and the salty, crunchy bite of a potato chips including our four-legged friends. A rare treat may not hurt but too much salt can lead to health concerns just like too little salt. Salt helps to replenish their electrolytes, which are essential minerals that are vital to many functions in the body. This is why most pet foods are balanced to meet their daily salt requirements. Pets can exceed this limit by sharing treats like our fast food, seasoned meat, deli meat, and salty snacks leading to many health problems down the road. There are three main health concerns with excessive salt intake. Our first concern is dehydration since the high salt content in the blood stream causes water to rapidly drain from the cells to dilute the salt content in the blood. This severe dehydration will cause confusion, lethargy, and neurological effects due to brain swelling. Our pets can experience muscle cramps and joint pain causing them to lose balance and mobility. The flow of water leads us into our next health concern, high blood pressure. This can be especially hazardous if the pet also suffers from anemia. The influx of water to offset the salt puts a lot of pressure on the walls of the circulatory system. High blood pressure can have damaging effects on many internal organs such as the kidneys, heart, and brain. If the salt levels in the blood are extremely excessive, your pet may experience salt poisoning. This is caused by an extreme sodium imbalance; it is a severe condition and if left untreated can result in death. Treatment is not as straight forward as removing the salty culprit and providing more water. Rehydrating too quickly can actually exacerbate their symptoms and can even result in brain swelling and heart attacks. The signs to watch out for include, diarrhea, vomiting, swollen abdomen, excessive thirst, excessive urination, muscle tremors, incoordination, and seizures. If you suspect your pet may have salt poisoning it is best to seek veterinary assistance.
Another downside of sharing with our furry family members is the potential effects on their behaviour when food is around. This can start to form bad habits like begging, and we reinforce them by giving them a piece. They may start to think begging and mooching is acceptable and beg for food all the time and from everyone they see with food. Some pet parents are unknowingly reinforcing this unwanted behaviour by providing a piece of food just to get the pet to leave them alone, if only for a brief moment. A little drool in your lap as you eat your food may not be a big issue for you, but you may reconsider if it progresses. With some pets this might encourage them to steal food from young kids or skip the middleman and steal right from the plate. This not only introduces a danger to any children but for the dog as well, as somethings we are eating or might drop are toxic or a hazard to them. It can lead to food aggression with their own and human food making it difficult to remove if it is a danger to them and it can be incredibly challenging to correct this behavior. This can also result in very picky eaters. They may not want their food if they think they can get a slice of your pizza when they hold out long enough. Many of these issues are very frustrating and time consuming to correct and may take months of training and continued commitment to limit the unwanted and potentially dangerous behaviours.
Many human foods are unfortunately, toxic, or unsafe for our pets to consume and it can be hard to be aware of them all. We encourage pet parents to stop and consider if the treat your about to give is a safe and healthy option before we let them have it. The following table is here to help navigate a few human treats to avoid and the reasoning behind it.
|Human Food/Treat||Health Risks|
|Almonds||Non-toxic but is not safe. Almonds can block the esophagus and tear tissues along the digestive tract with the sharp pieces. If salted, it is a higher concern due to side effects of excessive salt.|
|Bread||Non-toxic but is unhealthy. Bread is remarkably high in sugar, preservatives and does not provide much nutritional value.|
|Chocolate & Caffeine||Toxic. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which can not be properly metabolized by our pets. Affects their circulation, heart, and smooth muscle control, and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heart function and seizures.|
|Cinnamon||Non-toxic (oil is toxic) but not safe. It can lower their blood sugar too much and lead to diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heart rate and liver disease. If inhaled it can cause coughing, choking and difficulty breathing.|
|Cooked Bones||Non-toxic but extremely dangerous. Cooked bones are likely to splinter and cause punctures or tears in the digestive tract. It can also cause a blockage within the digestive tract.|
|Deli Meat||Non – toxic but not safe. All lunch meats are extremely high in salt and fat and can lead to obesity along with heart disease, diabetes, and pancreatitis.|
|Fast Food/Processed Foods||May be toxic; is not healthy. Can contain toxic ingredients like onions, toxic herbs, and unsafe spices. They also contain excessive amounts of fat, sugar and salt leading to many health conditions.|
|Grapes/Raisins||Toxic as it contains tartaric acid. This acid causes vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, kidney damage and even kidney failure.|
|Ice Cream||Non – toxic but is unhealthy. Ice cream is extremely high in sugar leading to many health issues. Some pets are sensitive to dairy and could lead to vomiting and diarrhea. What is great is that they are so many pet-safe ice creams and alternatives to treat them with instead.|
|Macadamia Nuts||Very Toxic. Can induce signs of poison after ingesting only a couple nuts. Watch for signs of fever, vomiting and lethargy.|
|Onions||All varieties are toxic, including chives due to disulfides. If our pets ingest a large amount, whether over time or all at once, they can damage their red blood cells, causing anemia.|
Not all human foods are bad. There are many healthy food options to treat our beloved pets without the harmful effects. With many things, it is all about moderation. Treats should only make up 10% of their daily diet and the rest should be balanced meals to ensure our pets are getting everything the need to thrive. We will go through a few examples below.
|Human Food/Treat||Health Facts|
|Cheese||Safe in moderation. Cheese is high in fat and should be given in small amounts. Some pets may have a sensitivity and experience gastrointestinal upset.|
|Coconut||Coconut and coconut oil is a great option for a treat as it has many health benefits for the skin and coat. It is also good for bad breath.|
|Eggs||Eggs are safe to eat in moderation. They are high in protein, fatty acids, and many vitamins. If feeding raw should only be given a few times a week as raw egg whites can cause a biotin deficiency. *Eggshells are an excellent source of calcium, and the shell membrane is a great joint supplement.|
|Fish||Safe and healthy treat. A fantastic source of omega-3s for skin & coat and to reduce inflammation. Remember to remove all bones that can cause GI tears, except for sardines which have very soft, digestible bones.|
|Fruits||Many fruits and vegetables are safe for pets as long as they are seedless and have pits removed. Many fruits provide fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Berries are fantastic antioxidants.|
|Meat Protein||Safe in moderation. Offer them the meat they crave with many single protein options of breast, liver, and heart. Be careful in excessive treats as this can disrupt their balanced diet and lead to GI upset.|
|Peanuts||Safe in moderation. An excellent source of protein. They are high in fat and can lead to pancreatitis if given too much too often. Stay away from salted or seasoned peanuts as it can lead to salt poisoning.|
|Peanut Butter||Safe in moderation. Very crucial to read the ingredients and stay away from any containing salt and the toxic artificial sweetener, xylitol. Contains heart healthy fats, vitamins, and niacin.|
For more safe treat suggestions please visit your local Global Pet Foods where our healthy pet care specialists are happy to help.
Marketing Lead, Customer Engagement
Taylor completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Biology at the University of Guelph and has built up experience within the pet nutrition industry and the animal medical field. She has a passion to share all insights on pet nutrition and health for all of our furry (feathery, scaly or otherwise) friends.
Plants can be a wonderful addition to the home and garden. Not only do they help enhance the beauty of the home, but they can improve air quality, boost moods, and limit feelings of stress. Some of these beneficial plants can also affect our pet’s health in negative ways and in some situations may even be fatal.
Us humans typically don’t think about eating our plants and the consequences but unfortunately, licking, smelling, and tasting their surroundings is how our companions get familiar with new additions to their home. Even though some poisonous plants give off a pungent smell that deters our curious critters, we cannot rely on our pets to know what is dangerous and stay away from them, many are just too investigative to resist.
We don’t want you to worry! We are going over the common indoor and outdoor plants that are toxic to our pets, some safe and gorgeous alternatives, and what you should do if your beloved furry family members show signs of toxicity.
We will go through different types of plants, flowers and bulbs, shrubs, trees, herbs, fruit & vegetables, and succulents, their identifiers, and their toxicity symptoms.
|Amaryllis||Lycorine||o Like the above examples, they resemble lilies but are not close relatives.|
o They have large trumpet-shaped flowers that come in a variety of colours and can be two-toned and striped as well.
o If consumed, it can result in excessive drooling, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and decreased appetite.
|Autumn Crocus/ Colchicum||Colchicine||o They have cup-like blossoms that are pink or purple, typically white inside.|
o If ingested they can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, severe vomiting, kidney and liver damage, respiratory failure, bone marrow suppression, and shock.
|Begonia||Calcium oxalate crystals||o Dark green or bronze leaves with single or double flowers of white, pink, red and bicolour.|
o If ingested they can cause intense burning of the mouth, throat lips and tongue. It comes with excessive drooling, swelling of the throat and difficulty swallowing.
|Chrysanthemum||Lactones, sesquiterpene, pyrethrins, and other potential irritants.||o The flowers have varying petal arrangements from daisy-like to pompoms and can range in colour from white and yellow to deep burgundies and purples.|
o When consumed you may see vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, loss of coordination and dermatitis may develop with skin contact.
|Cyclamen||Saponins||o They have dark green leaves with white veins or blotches and solitary flowers of pink, white, red, and purple.|
o If ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures and even death.
|Daffodil||Lycorine and other alkaloids.||o They are identified as a single flower on a green stalk, usually yellow or white petals surrounding a trumpet.|
o The petals, bulbs, and even the water in the vase is toxic.
o They may experience excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, low blood pressure, convulsions, and irregular heart rhythms.
|Foxglove||Digitalis and other cardiac glycosides||o It is a pinkish purple, funnel-shaped flowers that can grow up to 2m tall.|
o All parts of the plant or toxic from the seeds to the petals.
o You may see frequent urination, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure and may even result in death.
|Geranium||Geraniol and linalool||o It’s identified by its fragrance, green leaves, and rose-coloured flowers. Flowers may be bicoloured.|
o Ingestion can cause lethargy, low blood pressure, loss of appetite and skin contact can result in skin rashes.
|Hyacinth||Lactones and other alkaloids||o A plant with a lot of small flowers grouped together closely around the stem. Usually blue, white, or pink.|
o The whole plant is toxic, but the bulbs are the most concentrated.
o It can cause irritation of the mouth and esophagus, intense vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate and tremors.
|Iris||Irisin||o Has radiant, upright six-pedaled flowers. Traditionally purple but can be seen in a variety of vibrant colours.|
o Ingesting any part of the plant can cause excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Direct contact with skin can result in skin rashes.
|Lenten Rose||Saponins and glycosides||o Most known for rich green foliage and cup like flowers with light yellow-green to red petals.|
o When ingested it can cause colic, depression, diarrhea, vomiting, breathing difficulties, seizures, heart arrhythmia, and even death.
|Lily||Calcium oxalate crystals||o Normally feature six petal-like segments that can appear on a variety of shapes and colours.|
o The petals, stems, and even the water in the vase is toxic.
o Toxicity symptoms can become quite serious from excessive drooling, loss of appetite and vomiting to lethargy, and kidney failure.
o There are so many different varieties with some being much more toxic than others, but it is best to stay away from them all.
|Day Lilies||Calcium oxalate crystals||o They are similar to lilies, but stems are shorter, and flowers normally grow from a grass-like foliage at ground level.|
o These are extremely toxic for cats with similar symptoms to lilies, and it typically only causes gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
|Calla Lilies||Calcium oxalate crystals||o The plant has tall stems and tubular shaped flowers with pointed tips and finger-like spadix at the center.|
o Symptoms are like lily poisoning and can range from mild to severe. They also release a substance that burns and irritates the mouth and stomach.
|Lily of the Valley||Cardiac glycosides||o Identified by its nodding white bell-shaped flowers that cluster on a leafless stalk.|
o They may experience diarrhea, vomiting, a drop-in heart rate, and cardiac arrhythmia.
|Tulips||Tulipalin A and B||o Best known for long, broad, parallel leaves and cup shaped flowers that can be found in a wide range of colours.|
o The whole plant is poisonous, but it is most concentrated in the bulbs.
o They can cause irritation of the mouth and esophagus, vomiting, excessive drooling, diarrhea, depression, and in severe cases, increased heart rate and irregular breathing.
|Azaleas & Rhododendrons||Grayanotoxin||o Azaleas have funnel-liked flowers, one flower per stem. The plant is so filled with stems it appears to be covered in the flowers.|
o Rhododendrons have bell-shaped flowers that grow in clusters and have fewer stout stems.
o Entire genus is extremely dangerous, just a few leaves can cause serious issues.
o When eaten, both can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, paralysis, cardiac failure and even death.
|Castor Bean||ricin||o Toxic component: ricin.|
o It can have glossy green leaves, black and purple, or a metallic red with white veins. Flowers are bright red with feathery branches.
o When consumed it can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, seizures, coma, and even death.
|Dahlia||Phototoxic polyacetylene||o They are bushy plants with big, gorgeous flowers that come in every colour of the rainbow.|
o They can cause skin irritation, sensitivity to the sun, vomiting, and diarrhea.
|Holly||Saponin||o The varieties range in toxicity, though it is best to avoid them all.|
o The have dark green leaves, spikes, and bright red berries.
o They may experience excessive drooling, head shaking, irritation of the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, and the spikey leaves can cause gastrointestinal injury.
|Hydrangea||Cyanogenic glycosides||o They are shrubs with flowers in round or umbrella-shaped clusters which colours range from white, pink, blue and purple based on the acidity of the soil.|
o All parts of the plant are toxic, but it is most concentrated in the leaves and flowers.
o If eaten, pets may experience excessive drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.
|Ivy||Saponins and calcium oxalate crystals||o It is a vine rather than a shrub but is used frequently in landscaping.|
o Can cause irritation and burning of mouth, throat, tongue, and lips. Excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing and swallowing may also occur.
|Oleander||Cardiac glycosides||o They have long, narrow, dark green leaves. Their showy flowers are funnel-shaped and appear in clusters that range from white and peach to deep burgundy.|
o All parts of the plant are toxic.
o Ingestion can cause extreme vomiting, abnormal heart rate, seizures, hypothermia and even death.
|Peony||Paeonol||o They have green leaves and flowers with fluffy petals that creates a full sphere in a variety of colours.|
o If ingested in large amounts it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and lethargy.
|Umbrella Plant||Calcium oxalate crystals||o They have long, green, oval-shaped leaves that droop down resembling an umbrella.|
o If our pets were to consume it, it can result is burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue, drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
|Verbena Shrub||Triterpenoid||o The leaves are simple while the five-petaled flowers are small and clustered into a spike.|
o The berries are the most concentrated, but the whole plant is toxic.
o Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, excessive urination, jaundice, and liver damage.
|Wisteria||Lectin, wisterin glycosides||o It is a climbing shrub with pendants of scented flowers, typically blue or violet.|
o If eaten it can cause a burning mouth sensation, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression.
|Cherry, Plum, Apricot, |
|Cyanogenic glycosides||o The pits and seeds are a choking hazard.|
o Our pets are finding the fruit once already fallen to the ground.
o Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, trouble breathing, seizures, and cardiac arrest.
|Melia toxins A and B||o It is a multibranched tree with dark brown bark and lacy, dark green leaves.|
o Bark, leaves, berries, and flowers are all toxic.
o It may cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, lowered heart rate, shock, and seizures.
|Buckeye (Horse Chestnut) |
|Saponin and glycosides||o It has a rounded canopy and dark grey, thick bark and they have shiny, mahogany nuts with an eye at one end.|
o Ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, seizures, and even a coma.
|Eucalyptus||Eucalyptol||o Many varieties and can be classified as a tree or shrub.|
o It is popular for its mind-soothing fragrance.
o If enough leaves are ingested, the pet may experience excessive drooling, vomiting, decreased appetite and diarrhea.
|Walnut, Pecan, Hickory & Macadamia Nut Tree||Juglone||o The tree itself is not dangerous, but the nuts that fall to the ground are.|
o The nuts also decay very quickly and produce mold.
o Eating the nuts can cause our pets to experience vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and seizures.
|Yew Tree||Taxines||o All varieties are toxic.|
o They are best known as a popular holiday decoration with bright green leaves and red berries.
o They can cause vomiting, tremors, difficulty breathing and seizures.
|Marijuana||Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)||o Their stems are thin with thin green leaves and usually have five to seven branches. Their flowers are small, green and grow in clusters.|
o Ingestion by our pets can cause depression of the central nervous system resulting in loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate and seizures.
|Onion||Disulfides||o All varieties are toxic, including chives.|
o If our pets ingest a large amount, whether over time or all at once, they can damage their red blood cells, causing anemia.
|Parsley||Furanocoumarins||o An herb grown for its flavourful and has dark green leaves.|
o If consumed in large quantities, or consistently over a longer period, it can cause photosensitization, making them more susceptible to sun damage and sun burns.
|Tomato||Solanine||o Their green vine and unripen fruit can cause toxicity symptoms.|
o When eaten it can cause drooling, loss of appetite, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, and a slowed heart rate.
|Aloe Vera||Saponins and anthraquinones||o The gel itself is safe but the thick, spikey, plant material surrounding it can cause toxicity symptoms.|
o Ingestion of the plant can cause swelling of the throat, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain.
|Birds of Paradise||Tannins and hydrocyanic acid||o Leaves are paddle-shaped attached to an upright stalk, and they have boldly coloured blooms that resemble birds in flight.|
o Ingestion can cause eye discharge, vomiting, diarrhea, and laboured breathing.
|Chandelier Plant||Cardiac glycosides||o They have grey-green foliage with brown-red spots and dangling orange flowers in clusters.|
o If eaten it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and abnormal heart rate.
|Dumbcane||Calcium oxalate crystals and proteolytic enzymes||o All varieties are toxic.|
o They are resilient and easy to care for, can grow up to 6 feet tall and have big bushy leaves that are yellow at the vein and turn to darker green as it spreads outward.
o It will cause irritation and intense burning of the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.
|Elephant’s Ear||Calcium oxalate crystals||o These house plants are well liked as they are easy to care for and have big leaves with bold vein patterns.|
o When eaten it can lead to excessive drooling, swollen tongue, eyes and lips, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney failure.
|Ficus||Ficin||o The toxin is incorporated in the sap, all parts of the plant are toxic.|
o Ingestion of the plant will cause mouth pain, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite.
o Contact with the skin can cause irritation and sensitivity to the sun.
|Jade||Saponins||o Their fleshy leaves can be round or oval and can be dark green, grey-blue or edged in red. Mature plants will flower in the winter.|
o If ingested it can cause vomiting, loss of coordination, difficulty breathing, depression, and seizures.
|Moss Rose||Calcium oxalate crystals||o Its green leaves are fleshy and narrow while its five-petaled flowers come in red, orange, yellow, white, and other pastel colours.|
o If ingested it can lead to drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, kidney failure and even death.
|Poinsettia||Saponins||o Usually seen around the holidays with dark green leaves with coloured bracts ranging in red, pink, and white.|
o It can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, eye irritation and skin irritation.
|Sago Palm||Cycasin||o Every part is extremely toxic especially the seeds.|
o They have dark green feather-like leaves resembling a miniature palm tree, with red and orange oval-shaped seeds.
o They may experience vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nosebleeds, liver damage and may even lead to death.
|Snake Plant||Saponins||o They have sharply pointed, sword-like leaves that are dark green with light grey-green stripes.|
o If chewed on or ingested it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, swollen mouth and throat, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
|ZZ Plant||Calcium oxalate crystals||o They have rich green, wand-shaped stems with fleshy, oval-shaped leaves.|
o It can cause swelling of the eyes, irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
|African Daisy||o A great alternative to moss rose.|
o They prefer lots of sun and weekly watering.
o Flower consists of showy outer petals in bright colours and a compact eye in the center.
|African Violet||o A great alternative for chrysanthemums.|
o Bloom beautifully when in indirect sunlight.
o They are compact plants with dark green, thick leaves and violet-like flowers.
|Baby Tears||o Needs plenty of water and filtered light.|
o A dense, delicate mat of fine round, or bean-shaped leaves.
|Basil, Rosemary, Cilantro & Thyme||o Love direct light and lots of water.|
o Basil has rounded, slightly cupped, green leaves. Has a sweet, pungent, slightly spicy flavour.
o Rosemary repels mosquitoes like eucalyptus. Is a fragrant shrub with needle-like leaves. Has notes of evergreen, citrus, lavender, pine, sage, pepper, and mint.
o Cilantro is a great substitute for parsley. Looks like parsley with its delicate, bright green leaves.
o Thyme is a shrub with slender, wiry, spreading leaves. Has an earthy, minty, and slightly lemony flavour.
|Bird’s Nest Fern||o Thrive in low light and varying humidity, like in bathrooms.|
o Known for its unique squiggly, green fronds.
|Boston Fern||o They like cool spots with indirect sunlight and high humidity.|
o Has tight clumped, arching, feather-like fronds that are typically pale green.
|Bromeliad||o Require plenty of air flow and indirect sunlight.|
o They have multicoloured leave sin red, green, purple, orange, and yellow.
|Calathea Orbifolia||o Fantastic replacement for elephant’s ear.|
o Requires partial shade and regular watering.
o It has beautiful, large, round leaves striped with pale silver-green.
|Camellias||o A colourful replacement for azaleas and tulips.|
o Plant in an area that has sun in the morning, shade at night.
o They are small shrubs with glossy green leaves and large flowers with many overlapping petals of white, yellow, pink, or red.
|Chinese Money Plant||o A great replacement for Devil’s Ivy.|
o Prefer indirect sunlight in a warm spot, with regular watering.
o Green shoots grow up ending in a single saucer-shaped leaf.
|Date Palm||o Do not over water and keep in bright, indirect sunlight.|
o Has a crown of graceful green pinnate leaves.
|Freesia||o A fantastic replacement for daffodils.|
o They prefer full sun and regular watering.
o They have a sweet-spicy fragrance and can come in a variety of colours and bicolour patterns. Their funnel-shaped flowers grow in dense clusters on the slender stems.
|Friendship Plant||o Prefers moderate to bright, indirect sunlight and thorough watering.|
o They have deeply textured, rich green leaves with bronze-silver veins.
|Gloxinia||o They thrive in bright rooms with indirect sunlight.|
o Flowers come in bright shades of purple, pink, red, or blue.
|Haworthia Retusa||o Great alternative for a jade plant.|
o Forms star-shaped rosettes with its fleshy leaves.
o Prefers indirect sunlight and little watering.
|Orchid||o Great alternative to lilies and amaryllis.|
o Do best in indirect light and warmer, more humid rooms.
o They have wide-spreading, broad, flat petals that can come in a variety of colours.
|Parlor Palm||o Great alternative for sago palm.|
o Slow growers that prefer indirect sunlight.
o A single-trunk palm with arching green leaves comprised of narrow leaflets.
|Petunias||o Terrific replacement for Wisteria.|
o Require regular watering and to be in full sun.
o They have funnel-shaped flowers of five petals, come in a variety of colours and patterns.
|Polka Dot Plant||o They need bright, indirect sunlight and moderate amount of watering,|
o Normally oval-shaped leaves with pink base colour and green spots but can be seen in a variety of spotted patterns.
|Ponytail Palm||o Easy to care for and do not need much water.|
o Long green, feathery leaves drape down from the stem, resembling a ponytail.
|Prayer Plant||o Great replacement for dumbcane.|
o Prefers bright, indirect sunlight and little watering.
o Leaves are pale green to purple-green and fold at night to resemble praying hands.
|Rattlesnake Plant||o Large, green, oval-shaped leaves with a plum-purple underside.|
o Best if placed away from direct light.
|Snapdragon||o A great alternative to hyacinths.|
o They prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade.
o They have tubular flowers that come in a variety of colours from pastels to brights.
|Spider Plant||o Fantastic replacement for a snake plant.|
o Incredibly resilient and are great air purifiers.
o Long leaves that are either solid green or have a lengthwise stipe of white or yellow.
|Staghorn Fern||o Can thrive in both direct and indirect sunlight with little watering.|
o Its fronds are meant to resemble split antlers from a deer or elk.
|Venus Flytrap||o Considered low maintenance, needs a few hours of direct sunlight.|
o Each leaf has a flat stalk that ends with a trap, the trap has a reddish centre lined with teeth.
|Watermelon Peperomia||o Like to be kept out of direct sunlight and do not need much watering.|
o Named due to the shape and colour of its leaves resembling a watermelon rind.
|Zebra Plant||o Fantastic alternative for aloe vera.|
o They like direct sunlight and light watering.
o They have dark green leaves with distinctive zebra-like stripes.
|Zinnias||o A fantastic replacement for hydrangeas.|
o They prefer full sun exposure and regular watering.
o They have stiff green stems and bountiful flowers, can be in any colour but blue.
The most common mistake pet parents make is waiting to see if the pet becomes ill before contacting their veterinarian. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. If you believe your pet has eaten a possibly poisonous plant, please follow the below steps.
We hope with this list, pet parents can feel more confident and comfortable with the plants they bring into the home and garden. We can still enjoy plants and their benefits while also making sure our pets can enjoy them too. We all love our curious critters and do all we can to keep them happy and healthy. Keep up the great work!
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Sharing your life with a cat is a rewarding and enriching experience. Cats have so much to offer including love and companionship. Some people view cats as being aloof and not needing a lot of attention. But just like dogs, there is great responsibility in caring for a cat’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Cats will get sick from time to time, but there are ways to reduce the chances of this happening.
Below are some suggestions.
There are many great products to combat parasites these days, including topical ones which are easier to apply than powders and sprays. Before you treat your cat for parasites, visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store. The Healthy Pet Care specialists will be able to advise you on the best product to use for your cat. A visit to your vet may be in order.
Other common dangers include: poisons, hot stoves, toilets, washing machines and tumble dryers, string, ribbon, electrical cords and more. You should know where your cats are at all times if they are at risk to be injured.
Many pet parents live in condos and apartment buildings and for those of us without the luxury of air conditioning, we rely on open windows and balcony doors to help keep us cool during the hot summer nights. You may, however, be putting your pets at risk. Unscreened windows and doors pose a real danger to dogs and, more often, cats, as they can fall out of them. There is a term that has been recently associated with this: High-Rise Syndrome. It’s more common than you think. Veterinarians see cases on a weekly basis whereby the family pets have fallen from an open window or from the balcony. Falls can result in shattered jaws, punctured lungs, broken limbs and pelvises, and even death.
Cats have excellent survival instincts, and they don’t deliberately “jump” from high places that would be dangerous. Cats have an incredible ability to focus their attention on whatever interests them. However, they can become so distracted by a bird or another animal that they lose their balance and fall. And that’s where the “High-Rise Syndrome” applies – when cats fall accidentally from high-rise windows, terraces or fire escapes.
High-Rise Syndrome is 100-Percent Preventable. We recommend that you do the following to keep your pets safe this summer:
And finally, if you have a cat (or multiple cats) you may want to keep them indoors to protect them from additional dangers such as cars, other animals and disease. Purchase full-screen enclosures for backyards and terraces if you want to provide your cats with outdoor stimulation.
Always know where your pets are in the house when you’re home. Just as you would do when you have children in your home, know where your pets are at all times so that you can keep them safe.