Hazardous or Harmless? Discover Which Fall Plants Are Toxic to Pets
Knowing which popular fall plants can be toxic to dogs, cats, and horses will help you choose safe autumn flora for your home and yard. Read on to see which plants can be hazardous and which are relatively harmless. Keep in mind, however, that the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises that even “harmless” plants consumed by pets may cause mild GI upset.
Mums (Chrysanthemum spp.).
Considered mildly toxic to dogs, cats, and horses, mums are by far one of the most popular fall flowers. If consumed, you may see vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, incoordination, and dermatitis in these animals.
Red Maple (Acer rubrum).
Red maple trees are often the most vibrant and beautiful in the fall—and their leaves are considered toxic to horses. Destruction of red blood cells (anemia), weakness, dark urine, difficulty breathing, abortion, and death are some of the symptoms a horse may experience after ingesting red maple leaves, especially wilted ones.
Ginkgo Trees (Ginkgo biloba).
Gingko trees produce gorgeous yellow foliage in the fall, which many people enjoy, so thankfully the male trees are considered nontoxic to pets. However, the seed from the female tree contains ginkgotoxin (a methylpyridoxine) and is toxic to pets. If consumed, there is a potential for vomiting, irritability and seizures in animals. In addition to being toxic, female gingko tree seeds also have an unpleasant odor, so if a dog rolls on the fruit, they can bring the undesirable smell into your home. Choosing a male gingko tree for your yard will prevent both hazards.
Rayless Goldenrod (Haplopappus heterophyllus).
This yellow beauty is considered nontoxic to dogs and cats, but it is considered toxic to horses.
Horses eating one to ten percent of their body weight in the plant can develop lethal clinical effects. Onset of signs generally occurs after two days to three weeks, and includes incoordination, muscle weakness and tremors, elevated heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, fluid accumulation and swelling of the nervous system, profuse sweating, and inability to swallow.
Remember: Although these plants are considered nontoxic,all plant material consumed by pets may cause mild GI upset.
Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum).
Fountain grasses are considered nontoxic to pets and add height and beautiful blooms to flower gardens. You can feel at ease with these plants in your yard.