Pet planting precautions

Credit: Jupiter Imates

A new puppy or kitten? Gardeners take note: a number of plants can be toxic, most particularly to young animals at their most active and curious.

Though many of us have had pets (children, too) and rarely had problems, you’ll want to keep a close eye on a young animal that wants to chew everything in sight.

Houseplants are easily accessible to pets and many have toxic parts, including schefflera, dracaena, philodendron, ivy, kalanchoe, cyclamen, poinsettia – the list goes on. It might be easiest to give up houseplants until you can better predict your young pet’s habits.

Outdoor plants seem less interesting to most pets, but don’t let them chew on bulbs as many are poisonous, including tulips, narcissus, autuma crocus (Colchicum) and lilies. Shrubs to watch out for include certain rhododendrons, azaleas and oleander (Nerium). The annual castor bean (Ricinus) and yew (Taxus) are also toxic. If you live in an area with grazers, such as horses or goats, be mindful of protecting them as well. Consult your vet to learn more.